BASF: 1st Quarter Results
The business of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, continued to develop favorably in the first quarter of 2010. In conjunction with the recovery of the economy and some restocking of inventories by customers, demand has risen strongly in almost all divisions. At the same time, some chemical products were in short supply. Thanks to these improvements in the market environment, sales increased by 26% to EUR 15.5 billion. Income from operations before special items rose by 98% to EUR 1.95 billion, primarily as a result of higher capacity utilization. Earnings improved significantly in almost all divisions. Measures to reduce costs and increase efficiency, as well as synergies from the Ciba integration, also contributed to improved earnings. Sales and earnings increased further compared with the fourth quarter of 2009. Special items of minus EUR 114 million (first quarter of 2009: minus EUR 57 million) primarily resulted from the integration of Ciba. At EUR1.84 billion, EBIT increased by 98% compared with the first quarter of the previous year. EBITDA grew by EUR 1.04 billion to EUR 2.63 billion. The EBITDA margin rose to 17% (first quarter 2009: 13%). The financial result was minus EUR80 million, an improvement of EUR 122 million compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Income before taxes and minority interests was up EUR1.03 billion in the first quarter to EUR1.76 billion. At 34.7%, the tax rate was lower than in the first quarter of 2009.
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