BASF Reports Lower Profits, Higher Sales

BASF said it hopes to increase sales for the whole of 2015, but added that it expects earnings to match 2014 levels.

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The world's largest chemical producer reported higher sales but lower earnings and profits during the first quarter of the year.

German-based BASF said sales increased 3 percent compared to the previous first quarter, which officials attributed to significant increases in its chemical and crop protection segments. Reports indicated a relatively weak euro helped generate those earnings.

"The year started off well for BASF," said BASF chief Kurt Bock.

The company's earnings before interest and taxes, however, declined by 2 percent due primarily to stock-based compensation increases. Net income, meanwhile, fell by nearly 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.

BASF said it hopes to increase sales for the whole of 2015, but added that it expects earnings to match 2014 levels. Although chemical and crop operations should continue to bolster the company's bottom line, sharply lower crude prices should depress earnings in its Wintershall AG oil and gas division. Wintershall saw a profit decline of 16 percent in the latest quarter.

Low fuel prices also reduced the price of BASF's basic chemicals, but lower costs also sparked growth in steam cracker and ethylene-based products in Europe.

 

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