BASF registers 3% increase in H1 sales despite challenges

The specialty chemicals supplier saw solid growth despite volatile raw materials prices

German supplier BASF registered first half 2015 sales totalling €39.1bn, up 3% on the first half of 2014 – a strong performance from the world’s largest producer of specialty chemicals.

Issuing its Q2 results at the same time, BASF also noted sales grew 3% to €19.1bn, despite lower growth in some markets and continuing volatile raw materials prices. Sales volumes also grew in Q2, up 2% compared with the same quarter in 2014.

Dr Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, said: “In the second quarter of 2015, we improved our sales and earnings despite lower growth in some markets and continuing volatile raw material prices. In the first half of 2015, our earnings matched the level of the first half of the previous year – in line with our full-year outlook.”

Focusing on BASF's H1 results, sales volumes were seen to delcline slightly in the chemicals business. However, EBIT before special items stood at around €4.1bn, matching the level of the first half of 2014. Cash created by operative activities rose by €2.4bn to €5.1bn, almost double of the previous year-half level.

“This was almost a doubling of the previous half-year level and was predominantly the result of a reduction in inventories of €1.3bn. Contributing to this were seasonal effects in the natural gas trading and crop protection businesses as well as the continuing optimization of our inventory management,” said Dr Hans-Ulrich Engel, Chief Financial Officer of BASF.

Looking ahead to the full year, BASF said it aims to “perform well and slightly increase sales in a volatile and challenging environment.”

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