BASF does well in 2013; optimistic for 2014

German chemicals firm BASF increased its sales and earnings in 2013 compared with the previous year. For 2014, the firm is cautiously optimistic with regards to global economic development. It says that the world economy is expected to grow slightly faster in 2014 than in 2013, despite continuing volatility. For the global chemical industry, the company anticipates growth rates comparable with the previous year’s level and forecasts somewhat higher growth in key customer industries such as the transportation, consumer goods and electronics industries. This, it says, will likely have a positive effect on BASF’s business.

Fourth quarter sales for 2013 rose 1% to EUR18.1 billion, compared to the previous year, while sales for the whole year were EUR74 billion, up by 3%, based on strong margins from its oil and gas as well as its basic petrochemicals divisions.

For 2014, the firm expects global economic growth to grow by +2.8% (+2.3% last year); global chemical production (without pharmaceuticals) by +4.4% (+4.6% last year) and an average oil price (Brent) of US$110 per barrel (US$109 per barrel last year).

It is against this backdrop that Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, says the firm is expected to “perform well in a market environment that remains challenging in 2014.” He adds, “We aim to increase our sales volumes excluding the effects of acquisitions and divestitures.”

Nonetheless, he adds that sales are likely to decline slightly compared with 2013, due to the divestiture of the gas trading and storage business planned for the middle of 2014.


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