The world's largest chemicals company, BASF, has reported a dent in earnings from its oil and gas business. But its chemicals segment has more than compensated for it, seeing the German firm growing in the first quarter.
Ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, Ludwigshafen-based BASF reported Friday its first-quarter earnings before interest and tax dipped by 3.3 percent to 2.14 billion euros ($2.97 billion) partly due to a much stronger euro.
The company got off to a weak start in its oil and gas business, with traditionally strong revenues in that segment dropping by a fifth year-on-year.
BASF attributed the fall of its gas deliveries to mild winter weather in Europe and discontinued gas extraction in the Libyan desert because of frequent strikes at export terminals since mid-2013.
Maybe a deal on propylene?
But in the chemicals business proper, including pesticides, operations went smoothly and the company was able to finish the first quarter with a bottom-line profit of 1.48 billion euros, up 2 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.
BASF Chief Executive Kurt Bock revealed the company was considering building a huge facility in the US for the production of propylene, a hydrocarbon compound widely used in the production of plastic packaging materials.
The firm mentioned a potential investment sum of more than 1 billion euros which would make it the largest single investment ever made by BASF.
hg / kpc (Reuters, dpa)