Germany's BASF raises 2011 sales, earnings despite challenging Q4

24 February 2012 22:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (ICIS)--BASF surpassed 2010 record levels in sales and earnings in 2011, despite a challenging fourth quarter and the eurozone debt crisis, the chairman of the German chemical company said on Friday.

BASF posted a 15% year on year rise in sales in 2011, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased almost 11% to €8.6bn ($11.5bn) compared with the previous year. 

Speaking at BASF’s annual financial press conference, chairman Kurt Bock said: “2011 was another very successful year for BASF, [however] the economic situation did not make this an easy achievement”.

Bock added that although sales and earnings increased significantly over the year, the slowing economy in 2011 was reflected in the company’s fourth quarter results, which posted a 14% drop in EBIT compared with the same period in 2010, to €1.5bn.

“One year ago, we predicted moderate global economic growth and considerably higher volatility for 2011,” he added.

Bock said global gross domestic product grew by 2.7% in 2011, compared with 3.9% in 2010, while growth in global chemical production, excluding pharmaceuticals, slowed from 9.3% to 4.8%.

“The second half of 2011 was especially characterised by a significant deceleration of economic growth with a decline in chemical production in some countries,” Bock said.

“Our business was particularly affected by events that were not foreseeable one year ago. The natural disaster in Japan left the world shaken, and Germany saw a shift in its energy policy,” he added.

“In Libya, we had to suspend our crude oil production from February to October 2011. After the economic growth spurt of the first half of the year, the national debt crisis in Europe contributed to a considerable slowdown in the second half,” Bock said.

“The indebtedness of the US and European countries, as well as the discussions about the future of the euro, continue to unsettle all market participants,” he added.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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