- This was largely the result of higher sales volumes in our chemicals business, which comprises the Chemicals, Performance Products and Functional Materials & Solutions segments, as well as in the Oil & Gas segment - said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE at the Half-Year Telephone Conference. Sales prices decreased slightly. On balance, portfolio measures increased sales by 1%. Continuing negative currency effects (minus 4%) and a considerable decline in sales in Other dampened sales growth for the BASF Group.
At around €2.1 billion, income from operations (EBIT) before special items surpassed the level of the second quarter of 2013 by €221 million. Earnings increased considerably in the chemicals business and the Oil & Gas segment. Earnings declined considerably, however, in the Agricultural Solutions segment and in Other.
- The devaluation of almost all major currencies against the euro negatively impacted earnings by roughly €200 million compared to the previous second quarter - explained Bock.
EBIT increased by €246 million to €2.0 billion compared with the previous second quarter. Net income rose by €142 million to €1.3 billion. Earnings per share were €1.41 in the second quarter of 2014 compared with €1.26 in the same period of the previous year. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share rose to €1.54 (second quarter of 2013: €1.40).
Further implementation of the "We create chemistry" strategy- In the past months, we continued to implement our 'We create chemistry' strategy. We invested in attractive business areas and were successful in the market with our innovations. In addition, we optimized businesses and increased our efficiency - said Bock.
Just a few days ago, BASF inaugurated a new production plant for mobile emissions catalysts in Środa Śląska near Wroclaw, Poland. The company is also increasing investments in plastics and plastic precursors business in Asia. The restructuring of the Performance Products segment is on track. Through the restructuring measures in this segment, more than 2,000 positions will be reduced by the end of 2017. BASF expects an annual earnings improvement of about €500 million from 2017 onward. One-time costs are €250 to 300 million.