Rising profit at its oil and gas unit boosted BASF’s earnings in the first quarter and its forecast for the year.
Although at the annual general meeting BASF admitted weakness in its core chemicals business, as it has not successfully passed on high raw material and energy prices to customers Chief Executive Juergen Hambrecht said: “Last year at this meeting, I gave you my promise that the BASF team would continue to write new chapters in our company’s success story, and we have kept our word. In 2005, we posted the best results ever in the history of BASF.”
Sales in the first three months of the year – at 12.5 billion euros – rose by 24% compared with the same period last year.
Pre-tax profit was 1.87 billion euros, up 19%, and net profit was higher by 10% at 950 million euros.
BASF said its hostile takeover offer for US company Engelhard, which makes specialty chemicals and catalytic converters for cars, would continue in what it called “a very disciplined manner.”
Chief financial officer Kurt Bock said that if its bid for Engelhard does fail, it would likely explore other possibilities in the chemical sector.