Chemicals – Heavy losses in 2020 for the BASF group

German chemist BASF on Wednesday reported heavy operational losses in 2020, due to the Covid-19 crisis and restructuring, despite a better than expected fourth quarter.

Posted today at 11:54 a.m.

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The  German chemicals giant claims to perceive a glow at the end of the tunnel. (archive)

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The  Ludwigshafen group experienced an operating loss (EBIT) of 191 million euros (206 million francs) during the year, according to provisional figures, after a profit of 4.2 billion euros in 2019.

Its turnover fell (-0.28%) to 59.149 billion euros.

BASF was heavily weighed down for much of the year by the Covid-19 crisis, which slowed down its activity.

2,000 jobs cut

In the third quarter, the group had experienced a very strong operating loss, to 2.6 billion euros.

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The  divisions most affected by the crisis were petrochemicals and transport (automotive, aviation), says the company.

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The  operating results were also weighed down by “provisions” in the third quarter, made to finance “restructuring costs”, adds the group.

In September, the group announced the loss of 2,000 jobs in its business services support division.

Strong fourth quarter

But BASF now sees the light at the end of the tunnel, with a strong fourth quarter, and above analysts’ expectations.

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The  group’s operating profit jumped 60% over one year, to 932 million euros.

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The  chemist’s turnover is also up, to 15.9 billion euros, against 14.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.

This dynamic “is mainly explained by higher volumes and prices”, estimates the group.

Full results end of February

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The  recovery in automobile activity at the end of the year, in particular thanks to the dynamism of the Chinese market, helped to restart activity.

Following this publication, the title of BASF rose on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, gaining 1.62% to 67.67 euros at 09:05 GMT, on a DAX index up 0.55% to 13,891.56 euros.

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The  group will publish its full results on February 26.

ATS

Posted today at 11:54 a.m.

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