London - BASF has confirmed its outlook for 2008 despite signs of weakening growth in the chemical industry, the company announced 8 July at an analyst conference in London. Expectations for growth in chemical production for the current year have been revised from 2.8 percent to 2.4 percent, said BASF.
"I am confident that BASF will achieve its goals for 2008 despite the rise in oil prices and the associated significant increase in raw material prices," said Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of BASF.
He added, "Assuming there are no changes to BASF's portfolio, we aim to increase sales and to improve EBIT before special items slightly in 2008."
BASF also presented its long-term financial goal for the next five years. Based on the assumption of an unchanged portfolio, an oil price (Brent) of $100 per barrel and an exchange rate of $1.40 to $1.50 per Euro the company aims to achieve an earnings (EBITDA) margin of 18 percent.
Hambrecht concluded that because the BASF portfolio has been focused on profitable growth markets such as speciality products, now accounting for 63 percent of sales (excluding oil, gas and precious metals) compared to 54 percent in 2003, the company is now in a better position to deal with economic fluctuations than in the past.
"The acquisitions of Engelhard, Degussa Construction Chemicals and Johnson Polymer in 2006 have contributed substantially to this development," the company added.