BASF SE has raised its expectations for pre-tax earnings in 2014 but warned that it would not hit its financial targets for next year.
Announcing a 3 percent increase in third quarter sales to 18.3 billion euros ($23.2 billion) and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 9 percent to 1.8 billion euros ($2.28 billion), boosted by its chemicals and oil and gas segments, the German firm said that despite a “volatile and challenging” environment it expected to increase annual EBIT “slightly” for the full year.
Annual sales were likely to decrease slightly “as a result of the divestiture of the gas trading and storage business planned for this year, in addition to negative currency effects,” the group said.
Kurt Bock, BASF's chairman, warned the group “would not achieve its ambitious financial targets [of 80 billion euros ($101.4 billion) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 14 billion euros ($17.7 billion)] for 2015.”
The company said it expected EBITDA for next year to be in line with market expectations of between 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) and 12 billion euros ($15.2 billion).
Bock said the group was “on track” in terms of its strategic direction. “Even in this somewhat more difficult environment we will continue to grow profitably,” he added.