Operational profits of German BASF plummet in Q3

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of BASF plummeted by 24 percent year-on-year to a total of 1.1 billion euros (1.21 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3), the German chemical giant announced on Thursday.

The decline would have been due to “significantly lower contributions” of BASF’s business with basic chemicals and intermediates as well as in the company’s materials segment, according to the Ludwigshafen-based company.

Total turnover of BASF increased by 2 percent to 15.2 billion euros in Q3, mainly attributable to lower prices in the company’s chemicals and materials segments. Uncertainties in the market as well “cautious ordering” by customers would have “also played a role”, according to BASF.

“In particular, the trade conflict is weighing on our business,” BASF CEO Martin Brudermueller said, adding that there also were “uncertainties related to Brexit.”

The United States would experience a “noticeable slowdown” and production in the global automotive industry, an important customer of BASF, declined again compared with the “already low level at the end of the first half of the year”, Brudermueller said.