The first quarter of 2022 was characterized by significantly higher energy and raw materials prices as well as supply chain disruptions. “Nevertheless, we had a very good start to the year 2022,” said Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Basf, at the company’s virtual Annual Shareholders’ Meeting this year.
Sales rose by 3.7 billion euros compared with the first quarter of 2021 to 23.1 billion euros. Sales growth was mainly driven by higher prices, especially in the Chemicals and Materials segments. Positive currency effects in all segments supported sales performance.
Income from operations (Ebit) before special items increased by 497 million to 2.8 billion euros. This was largely attributable to considerable earnings growth in the Chemicals segment. Ebit rose by 474 million euros compared with the first quarter of 2021 to 2.8 billion euros. Net income amounted to 1.2 billion euros, compared with 1.7 billion euros in the prior-year quarter.
The global macroeconomic outlook is currently subject to very high uncertainty. In particular, it is impossible to predict the further development of the war in Ukraine and its impact on the prices and availability of energy and raw materials. Basf Group’s sales and earnings forecast for the 2022 business year, as published in the Basf Report 2021, is being maintained: sales of between 74 billion and 77 billion euros; Ebit before special items of between 6.6 billion and 7.2 billion euros; return on capital employed (ROCE) of between 11.4% and 12.6%.
The market environment continues to be dominated by an exceptionally high level of uncertainty. Risks may arise from further increases in raw materials prices and new sanctions against Russia, such as a natural gas embargo, or restricted gas supplies from Russia as a result of counter-sanctions. Further risks could arise from the future course of the coronavirus pandemic and longer-lasting or new measures to contain the number of infections, especially in China.