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BASF Q3 profits slump in spite of higher group revenue
BERLIN, October 26, 2018 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Copyright 2018 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY

The profits of BASF, the world's largest chemicals manufacturer by revenue, slumped in the third quarter (Q3) in spite of a parallel jump in revenue, earnings figures published on Friday by the DAX-listed German chemicals group show.

BASF's gross revenue came in at 15.6 billion euros (17.7 billion U.S. dollars) in Q3, marking an increase by eight percent compared to the same period last year. The quarterly jump in revenue came in spite of adverse currency effects and reflected higher sales prices achieved by the Ludwigshafen-based company across all of its product categories, as well as the recent acquisition of several business units from domestic industry rival Bayer.

Nevertheless, Q3 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) excluding special factors still fell by 14 percent to 1.5 billion euros. The development was largely blamed by BASF on weaker quarterly profits at its Chemicals, Functional Materials & Solutions and Agricultural Solutions divisions.

BASF further revealed that it had experienced negative one-off effects of minus 75 million euros (plus 122 million euros in Q3 2017) in its EBIT as a result of costs associated with the corporate integration of new Bayer units and other restructuring measures undertaken in Q3.

Commenting on the mixed quarterly earnings figures, chief executive officer (CEO) Martin Brudermueller emphasized that the past three months had been characterized by unusual commercial circumstances.

"We have completed the acquisition of significant businesses and assets from Bayer and have reached an agreement on the merger of Wintershall and DEA", a statement by Brudermueller read.

BASF has recently announced a corporate fusion of its oil and gas subsidiary Wintershall with German competitor DEA, followed by an initial public offering (IPO) of the merged entity. The transaction made it necessary for BASF to retrospectively adapt its financial reporting since Jan. 1, 2018.

BASF recorded global sales worth 64.5 billion euros in 2017. As of last year, the publicly-listed company employed around 115,000 staff across the world.

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