BASF has had a powerful start to 2011. Capacity utilization rates in the company’s plants were good; in particular, demand in the chemicals business (Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions) increased compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Sales grew by 25 percent to €19.4 billion. The Cognis businesses acquired in December 2010 made a significant contribution to this substantial sales growth.
Net income increased by €1.4 billion to €2.4 billion. Earnings per share were €2.62 in the first quarter of 2011 compared with €1.12 in the same period of 2010. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share amounted to €1.94 (first quarter of 2010: €1.32).
Sales in Europe were 24 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year. Demand for chemical products continued to be high. As a result of higher volumes and prices, income from operations before special items rose by €581 million to €1,832 million, sharply exceeding the level in the same quarter of the previous year.
In North America, sales grew by 21 percent in U.S. dollars and 22 percent in euro terms. Compared with the first quarter of 2010, earnings improved by €64 million to reach €393 million.
Sales in the Asia Pacific region rose by 28 percent in local-currency terms and by 33 percent in euro terms. Earnings improved by €106 million to €416 million as a result of higher prices and volumes.
In South America, Africa, Middle East, sales were up year on-year by 20 percent in local-currency terms and by 25 percent in euro terms. Earnings increased by €27 million to €91 million.