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UPDATE 1-BASF operating profit dives 24% as trade disputes weigh

by ace

* Third quarter EBIT down 24% to 1.1 billion euros, in line with market outlook

* Confirm the outlook for the whole year

* US-China trade frictions, Brexit a drag on demand (increases segment performance)

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany's BASF operating profit fell 24 percent between July and September, with uncertainty over trade disputes weighing on the prices of its basic petrochemicals and foam ingredients.

BASF, the world's largest chemical company in sales, said on Thursday that point-adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell to 1.1 billion euros ($ 1.2 billion). ), in line with market expectations.

"The trade conflict between the United States and China is weighing on our business. In addition, there are uncertainties related to Brexit," said Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller.

"These events are acting as a drag on the economy," he added.

BASF, whose products include vitamins, car seat foams, engineering plastics and diaper superabsorbents, reaffirmed earlier projections that full-year adjusted EBIT would be 30 percent lower than a year earlier.

Higher gains in the company's seeds and pesticides, as well as specialty chemicals such as catalytic converters and battery chemicals, dampened the impact.

CEO Brudermueller is trying to cut costs on the group's large integrated chemical complexes around the world by divesting businesses that are not closely linked to this production network, such as oil and gas, as well as BASF's pigment and construction chemicals business. .

Under an ongoing scheme to accelerate cost cuts to an annual fee of 2 billion euros by 2021, BASF said cost cuts would be about 500 million euros by 2019.

(US $ 1 = 0.8981 euros) (Additional reporting by Patricia Weiss, Tassilo Hummel and Sherry Jacob-Phillips edition)

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