BASF sticks to targets as trade saps Q1 profits

Frankfurt am Main: German chemicals giant BASF stuck on Friday to its full-year targets even as it reported falling profits in the first- quarter, blaming the drop on global trade tensions’ damping effect on business. Between January and March, the Ludwigshafen-based group saw net profits fall 16 per cent year-on-year to 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) — slightly higher than forecast by analysts surveyed by Factset. Operating, or underlying profit before special items also fell, shedding 24 per cent to 1.7 billion euros, although the group had managed to boost revenues three per cent, to 16.2 billion.
“Geopolitical developments and trade conflicts” had subdued activity at many clients like the important car industry, squeezing demand for BASF products, the group said, pointing to tensions “especially between the United States and China”. — AFP