BASF's sales to post big gain in 2011 - new North America head

07 June 2011 23:29  [Source: ICIS news]

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (ICIS)--BASF's 2011 sales will be up "significantly" over 2010, the company's new chairman and CEO for North America, Hans Engel, said on Tuesday.

That sales increase would translate into a corresponding bump up in operating income, excluding the drop in earnings caused by the suspension of BASF's activities in Libya, said Engel, who took over the New Jersey-based post this year.

He did not give precise forecasts for BASF's sales or earnings.

The German company's oil and gas production in Libya was shut down in February as that country veered into a civil war.

"We do not see these operations starting up in 2011," Engel said on the sidelines of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The mood of the ACC meeting is "overall very positive, as we are", Engel said.

While he downplayed the risks to the outlook, Engel did offer a list of "the usual suspects".

These include: the sovereign debt crisis in Europe; the threat of a double-dip US recession or a surge in oil prices; and the possibility that monetary policy in Asia is kept too tight, especially in China.

"But I don't see that happening" in China, Engel said, expressing admiration for the job that Chinese policymakers have done in sustaining demand while not allowing the economy to overheat.

"It is the only country in the world that can crank on internal demand in a heartbeat," he said.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Stephen Burns
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