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BASF says confident for 2014 after meeting 2013 targets

Frankfurt: German chemicals giant BASF said on Tuesday that it was “cautiously optimistic” for business this year after it met its targets last year.

In 2013, BASF booked net profit of 4.842 billion euros (Dh24.44 billion, $6.7 billion), an increase of 0.5 per cent over the year-earlier figure.

Underlying or operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), was up 8.2 per cent at 7.19 billion euros on a 2.6-per cent increase in sales to 73.973 billion euros.

Sales were driven mainly by a “considerable, mainly volumes-driven sales increase in the oil and gas and agricultural solutions divisions,” BASF said.

Despite higher volumes, sales declined slightly in the chemicals business, “mainly on account of negative currency effects,” it said.

“We do not expect strong tailwinds this year,” said CEO Bock.

“Nevertheless, we are cautiously optimistic with regards to global economic development. The world economy is expected to grow slightly faster in 2014 than in 2013, despite continuing volatility,” he said.

For the global chemical industry, BASF was anticipating similar growth rates to last year and somewhat higher growth in key customer industries such as the transportation, consumer goods and electronics industries.

“This will likely have a positive effect on BASF’s business,” Bock said.