Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF has reported sales of €87.3bn for 2023. This represents a rise of 11.1% from its 2021 sales of €78.6bn. The increase was despite the year being dominated by increased raw material and energy prices, and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
The company said it was hit by additional energy costs of €3.2bn, about two-thirds of which were attributed to the rising price of natural gas. About 84% of the total increase was in Europe, which had a particular impact on the verbund site in Ludwigshafen.
The growth in sales was largely driven by higher prices across almost all segments in the light of the increased raw material and energy prices. The price rises were greatest in the materials and chemicals businesses. However, significantly lower overall volumes dampened sales growth, particularly in surface technologies and chemicals.
The company is projecting its 2023 sales will be €84–87bn, with EBIT before special items predicted at €4.8-5.4bn. It has also announced cost-cutting plans, including the closure of the plants for TDI and its precursors in Ludwigshafen.
“Europe’s competitiveness is increasingly suffering from overregulation, slow and bureaucratic permitting processes, and in particular, high costs for most production input factors,” said Martin Brudermüller, the company’s chairman. “All this has already hampered market growth in Europe in comparison with other regions. High energy prices are now putting an additional burden on profitability and competitiveness in Europe.”