Chemicals maker BASF boosts dividend on solid 2013 profit | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.02.2014
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Chemicals maker BASF boosts dividend on solid 2013 profit

German chemicals giant BASF increased sales and profits last year despite challenging global conditions for the industry. The firm’s oil and gas division as well as its agriculture products performed best in 2013.

BASF's full-year sales in 2013 rose by about 3 percent to a total of 74 billion euros ($101 billion), the German chemicals company announced in its 2013 earnings report released Tuesday (25.02.2014).

Net income edged up slightly by 0.5 percent compared with 2012, reaching 4.8 billion euros, BASF said. The result had been achieved in a demanding year with a lot of headwind for the industry, said BASF Chief Executive Kurt Bock in a statement.

"Nevertheless, we achieved our goal. We sold more, worked more closely together with our customers and enhanced our portfolio," he added.

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The earnings of the world's largest chemical company by sales received a significant boost in the fourth quarter of 2013, in which net profit jumped 16 percent on the back of 1 percent higher sales compared with the same quarter a year ago.

As a result, CEO Bock announced he would propose an increase in dividend by 10 cents to 2.70 euros per share.

In his outlook for 2014, Bock said he was cautiously optimistic about the global economy but didn't expect any strong tailwinds for the chemicals industry. BASF was likely to suffer a slight decrease in sales due to the divestment of its gas trading unit and storage business, planned for mid-2014, he added. Nevertheless, adjusted EBIT was predicted to come in considerably higher as a result of the sales, allowing BASF to pay the same dividend as for 2013.

uhe/mz (dpa, Reuters)

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