BASF Posts Record Results Amid Concern About Libya

Profit triples in 2010, but company says unrest in Libya has impacted production in North African nation.

The world's largest chemicals company BASF achieved record 2010 results and joined rivals in giving an upbeat outlook for this year despite oil output suspensions in Libya, the company said Feb. 24.

BASF said its 2010 net profit rose more than threefold to $6.27 billion, rebounding from the previous-year global economic slowdown.

Despite production problems in North Africa, chairman Juergen Hambrecht said in statement that BASF is now "optimistic for the first quarter and the year as a whole."

Hambrecht acknowledged that "we are concerned about Libya," where BASF's Wintershall oil unit has halted production, leaving only a small group of core workers at its sites.

Meanwhile however, the German group "achieved record sales and earnings in 2010," Hembrecht said, with the former climbing by 26%.

BASF also finalized the purchase of Cognis, another small chemicals firm focused on health and nutrition products.

Like its rivals, the German group is now focused on Asia and aims in general "to significantly exceed the record levels for sales in income from operations achieved in 2010," the statement said.

BASF plans to expand a site in Nanjing, China, and build a new specialty chemicals plant in Malaysia.

It expects to create 2,900 jobs this year. The group currently employs some 105,000 people worldwide.

BASF shares showed a gain of 0.14% to 58.83 euros in Frankfurt, while the DAX index of leading stocks was 0.99% lower overall.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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