BASF posts 5.6% drop in Q4 operating profit as against last year

BASF has posted a 5.6% drop in Q4 operating profit as against the same quarter last year. Operating profit has been calculated excluding special items due to maintenance shutdowns at its petrochemicals plants. The company posted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and special items of €1.76 bln (US$2.58 bln). However, 2007 operating profit rose 8.4% from 2006 to a record €7.3 bln ($10.7 bln) on strong chemicals and plastics performance and higher selling prices which offset increasing raw material costs. Q4 plastics operating profit rose 36% to €345 mlm and 9.1% to €1.3 bln over the full year. The highest contribution to the group's 2007 sales performance came from the chemicals division, which saw revenues rise 22% to around €14.2 bln, followed by performance products at €11.7 bln, up 15.4%. Within chemicals, petrochemicals contributed 40% to sales, catalysts 34% and intermediates 18%. Styrenics sales at 39% were the highest contributor to the plastics division revenues, followed closely by polyurethanes at 38% and performance polymers at 23%, BASF said. The company's net income for Q4 increased 8.3% to €793 mln, while it surged 26.4% to just over €4 bln for 2007, helped by lower tax rates in Germany due to revaluation of deferred taxes. Acquisitions, especially the businesses acquired in mid-2006, contributed €3.6 bln to the sales increase.
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