First 2018 quarter of Basf

Earnings growth, outlook confirmed

Marketing - Tuesday, 8 May 2018

“We were pleased with the development in the first quarter of 2018, we have had a good start to the year”, said Kurt Bock, chairman of the board of executive directors of Basf, commenting on the year-on-year rise in first-quarter earnings during the Basf annual shareholders’ meeting at Congress Center Rosengarten in Mannheim, Germany. At 2.5 billion euros, income from operations (Ebit) before special items in the first quarter of 2018 was 55 million euros higher than in the same period of the previous year. This was mainly due to the significant improvement in earnings in the Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments. Sales declined slightly by 211 million euros compared with the first quarter of 2017 to 16.6 billion euros. This was attributable to significantly negative currency effects (-8%) in all segments. Higher sales prices (+5%), especially in the Functional Materials & Solutions and Chemicals segments, and increased volumes (+2%) had a positive impact on sales. All segments except Performance Products recorded volumes growth.

Kurt Bock confirmed the outlook for the full year 2018, speaking to shareholders at the Basf annual shareholders’ meeting. Bock is retiring from Basf’s board of executive directors at the end of the annual shareholders’ meeting. He will be succeeded as chairman by Martin Brudermüller, who has been a member of the board of executive directors of Basf since 2006, vice chairman since 2011 and chief technology officer since 2015. Upon the conclusion of the annual shareholders’ meeting, chief financial officer Hans-Ulrich Engel will assume the role of vice chairman.

Basf’s expectations for the global economic environment in 2018 remain unchanged:

- growth in gross domestic product: +3.0%;

- growth in industrial production: +3.2%;

- growth in chemical production: +3.4%;

- an average euro/dollar exchange rate of 1.20 dollars per euro;

- an average oil price (Brent) for the year of $65 per barrel.

Basf confirmed the sales and earnings forecasts for Basf Group contained in its 2017 annual report, which states the company aims to slightly increase sales and Ebit before special items and forecasts a slight decline in Ebit. “We want to slightly increase Ebit before special items in 2018”, said Bock. “This is ambitious because 2017 was a very good year for Basf”.


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