BASF: Higher Sales and Earnings
First-quarter sales of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, rose by almost 9% to EUR 15.9 billion, while income from operations (EBIT) before special items increased by more than 11% compared with the same period of 2007 to almost EUR 2.4 billion.
First-quarter sales rose significantly in the Chemicals segment due to higher volumes and prices. All divisions contributed to the increase in sales with double-digit growth rates. The excellent earnings level achieved in the same quarter of the previous year was not reached. This was due to a decline in margins for cracker products and decreased plant availability in the Petrochemicals division.
The Plastics segment posted a slight increase in sales compared with the first quarter of 2007. The rise in sales in the Polyurethanes division as a result of continued high demand worldwide more than offset the slight currency-related decrease in the Performance Polymers division. First-quarter earnings were considerably higher than in the same quarter of 2007. The strong increase in the Polyurethanes division more than offset the slight decline in the Performance Polymers division.
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