FRANKFURT (AFP) – BASF, the world’s biggest chemicals group, said Friday that profits were up in the third quarter, but the global slowdown will prevent it from meeting its targets for 2015.
“From today’s point of view, BASF will not achieve its ambitious financial targets for 2015” of sales of 80 billion euros ($101 billion) and operating profit of 14 billion euros, the group said in a statement.
“For 2015, BASF now expects sales and (operating profit) to be in line with market expectations,” it said.
Operating profit would come out at 10-12 billion euros and BASF would be able to provide a more detailed forecast at its annual earnings news conference next year, it said.
The chemicals giant said it is nevertheless sticking to its forecast for the current year after sales and profits rose in the third quarter.
Sales grew by 3.3 per cent to 18.312 billion euros in the period from July to September.
Underlying profit was up 8.9 per cent at 1.842 billion euros, even if the bottom-line net profit fell by 4.8 per cent to 1.043 billion euros due to increased tax payments.
“The economic environment remained challenging in the third quarter of 2014. Geopolitical tensions and increasing uncertainty about the global economic development significantly dampened demand for chemical products,” said chief executive Kurt Bock.
“Nevertheless, sales and earnings of BASF group increased in the third quarter of 2014,” he said.
Looking ahead, BASF “assumes that the environment will remain volatile and challenging. We nevertheless still aim to slightly raise our underlying profit for the year,” Bock said.
Full-year sales were likely to decrease slightly as a result of the divestiture of the gas trading and storage business planned for this year as well as negative currency effects, he added.