Sales of BASF Group in the second quarter of 2015 grew by 3% to €19.1 billion compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Sales volumes grew by 2% compared with the second quarter of 2014. This was predominantly through a sharp increase in volumes in the Oil & Gas segment. As a consequence of the significant drop in the price of oil, prices declined overall, especially in the Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments. All segments recorded positive currency effects.
Income from operations (EBIT) before special items rose by €31 million to around €2.0 billion, largely through the significantly increased contribution from the Functional Materials & Solutions segment as well as lower expenses in Other. While earnings were only slightly down in the Chemicals segment, the other segments posted considerable declines.
EBIT grew by €106 million to €2.0 billion in the second quarter compared with the same period of the previous year. At €1.3 billion, net income matched the level of the second quarter of 2014. Earnings per share were €1.38 in the second quarter of 2015, compared with €1.37 in the same period of 2014.
In the first half of 2015, sales grew by 3% to €39.1 billion compared with the first half of 2014, despite slightly declining sales volumes in the chemicals business. At around €4.1 billion, EBIT before special items matched the level of the first half of the previous year. The oil price-related decline in the Oil & Gas segment dampened earnings, while the Functional Materials & Solutions and Chemicals segments provided support through greater contributions. The Agricultural Solutions segment matched the earnings of the previous first half; the Performance Products segment and Other remained below the level of the same period of 2014.
Cash provided by operating activities in the first half of 2015 rose by €2.4 billion to €5.1 billion. "This was almost a doubling of the previous half-year level and was predominantly the result of a reduction in inventories of €1.3 billion. 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 SE.
Outlook for full year 2015In the first half of 2015, growth remained behind the company’s expectations for the global economy as well as for global industrial and chemical production. The expectations for the global economic environment in 2015 have thus been reduced (previous forecast in parentheses):
- Growth of gross domestic product: 2.4% (2.8%)
- Growth in industrial production: 2.9% (3.6%)
- Growth in chemical production: 3.8% (4.2%)
- An average euro-to-dollar exchange rate of $1.15 per euro ($1.20 per euro)
- An average oil price for the year of $60 to $70 per barrel (unchanged)