BASF forecasts sales in 2011 to rise by €3bn - Hambrecht

24 February 2011 10:59  [Source: ICIS news]

BASF CEO Jurgen HambrechtLUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (ICIS)--BASF has forecast that its sales in 2011 will rise by around €3bn ($4.1bn) from the previous year following the full integration of specialty chemicals producer Cognis, the chairman of the German chemicals major said on Thursday.

Speaking at BASF’s annual financial press conference, Jurgen Hambrecht said that the company was optimistic about its performance in 2011 following a strong start in the first quarter.

Earlier on Thursday, BASF posted fourth-quarter net income of €1.1bn ($1.5bn), compared with €455m in the 2009 fourth quarter, whiles sales surged 25% year on year to €16.4bn, the highest of any quarter last year.

BASF’s full-year net income in 2010 more than tripled to €4.56bn, compared with €1.41bn in 2009, as sales rose 26% year on year to €63.9bn.

“We aim to slightly increase sales volumes and sales in 2011, excluding acquisitions and divestures,” Hambrecht said.

He added that due to strong regional differences in growth rates, the share of the company’s total sales generated in Asia and South America would increase.

“We aim to significantly exceed the record 2010 level in income from operations, and we also expect to earn high premium or our cost of capital once again in 2011,” he said.

Hambrecht based this forecast on an average oil price in 2011 of $90/bbl and a solid global economic growth rate of 3.3%.

BASF would increase its total number of employees by about 2,900 in 2011, he added.

“The focus is on Asia, but we also plan to hire an additional 800 employees in Germany, thereof approximately 500 at the Ludwigshafen site.”

In June last year, BASF announced its plans to acquire Cognis for an equity purchase price of €700m. The enterprise value, which included net financial debt and pension obligations, was €3.1bn.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214



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