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 Dr Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, at the presentation of the 2017 Annual Report in Ludwigshafen.
With regard to the development in the regions, Bock said: “We were particularly pleased with our strong growth in Asia, where our investments in recent years have paid off.
“Thanks to higher margins and increased volumes, we were able to double our earnings in Asia to €2.2bn, making it the most profitable region for BASF.”
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 €64.5bn.
One contributing factor was the Chemetall business acquired at the end of 2016, which offers tailor-made solutions for metals surface treatment.
In Europe, economic growth gathered steam.
EBIT here grew by 31% to reach €4.7bn.
This was chiefly attributable to higher earnings in the Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments.
Although growth in the USA was initially subdued at the beginning of 2017, it improved over the course of the year.
In North America, BASF increased EBIT from €1.1bn to €1.2bn.
BASF’s EBIT in South America, Africa and the Middle East fell from €432M to €335M.
In Q4 of 2017, BASF Group posted sales of €16.1bn, 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 €1.9bn, 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.