FRANKFURT (AP) -- German chemical company BASF SE says it more than doubled first-quarter earnings thanks to increased demand for its chemicals and plastics, which are used to make everything from cars to cosmetics.
BASF, the world's biggest chemicals company, said Friday it earned euro2.4 billion ($3.5 billion) in the January-March period, compared with euro1.03 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings of euro1.94 per share beat analysts' estimates of euro1.77 per share.
The company reported a 25 percent surge in sales to euro19.4 billion from euro15.4 billion. It said Cognis, the specialty chemicals firm it acquired in late 2010, made a "significant contribution" to sales growth.
CEO Juergen Hambrecht said the company had seen revenue grow "despite strong increases in raw materials costs."
BASF said its business had not yet been significantly affected by the turmoil in Libya, where it has had to shut down crude oil production in February. It said it did not expect to resume production there this year.
At Friday's annual meeting in Mannheim, Hambrecht will hand over the CEO post to CFO Kurt Bock.
Company shares traded down 0.5 percent at euro65.70 in morning trading German time.