BERLIN, May 4 (Xinhua) -- German chemical producer BASF has experienced an increase in its operative profits in spite of currency headwinds during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, the company revealed at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mannheim on Friday.
According to figures published by BASF, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) at the Dax-listed company rose by two percent to 2.5 billion euros (3 billion U.S. dollars) in Q1 compared to the same period last year. At the same time, however, gross quarterly revenue fell by one percent to 16.6 billion euros as a consequence of the recent appreciation of the Euro versus other major currencies.
Although higher product prices and rising sales were overshadowed in the earnings figures by adverse currency effects, the departing chief executive officer (CEO) Kurt Bock described the performance of BASF during Q1 as "satisfactory." Business in the company's basic chemicals, oil- and gas divisions in particular had grown faster than expected.
As a consequence, Bock reaffirmed earlier "challenging" earnings target set of achieving slightly higher annual revenue and profits in 2018 compared to the past year.
Bock is scheduled to officially hand over the role of CEO to his successor Martin Brudermueller in the course of the ongoing AGM Friday.
Brudermueller recently expressed confidence that BASF would be able to finalize its "very smart deal" to acquire the crop science unit from German rival Bayer shortly after his inauguration, and further identified electric mobility as a key source of new growth for the German chemicals producer.
BASF is the world's largest chemicals manufacturer by revenue, recording global sales worth 64.5 billion euros in 2017. The Ludwigshafen-based firm employs a total of 115,000 staff across the world.