Good start for Basf in 2018

Marketing - Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Following a successful 2017 business year, Basf has had a good start to the year 2018. “Last year, we achieved significant growth and were able to further increase our profitability. Moreover, we laid important groundwork for the future development of our company - in terms of both people and strategy”, said Kurt Bock (in the picture), chairman of the board of executive directors of Basf, at the presentation of the 2017 Annual Report, on February 27 in Ludwigshafen.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Basf Group posted sales of 16.1 billion euros, which represents growth of 8% compared with the same quarter of 2016. Prices rose by 9%. Basf’s sales volumes increased by 4%; this was driven by all segments with the exception of Oil & Gas. By contrast, negative currency effects were significantly higher and reduced sales by 5%. Income from operations (Ebit) before special items in the fourth quarter was 1.9 billion euros, up by 58% from the same period of the prior year. The significantly higher earnings in the Chemicals, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas segments as well as in Other compensated for lower earnings in the Functional Materials & Solutions and Performance Products segments.

Economic activity picked up in many countries worldwide in 2017. “We took advantage of this upturn and markedly increased our full-year 2017 sales and earnings compared with the previous year”, said Bock. Thanks to good demand, Basf sold greater volumes in all divisions and considerably increased its profitability. Higher prices, especially in the Chemicals segment, also contributed to this. Overall, Basf’s sales grew by 12% to 64.5 billion euros. One contributing factor was the Chemetall business acquired at the end of 2016, which offers tailor-made solutions for metals surface treatment.

Basf’s earnings rose even more sharply, by around one-third. The company achieved Ebit before special items of 8.3 billion euros, with a significant contribution coming from the Chemicals segment. Higher margins and volumes in the basic chemicals and intermediates businesses more than offset the lower margins in some of Basf’s specialties businesses. Earnings in the chemicals business - which comprises the Chemicals, Performance Products and Functional Materials & Solutions segments - were significantly higher than in the previous year. Ebit before special items in this business was 7.3 billion euros, up by 26% versus the prior-year figure.

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