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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 7, 2010
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
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BASF Expects Better Year
April 7, 2010 By Andrzej Ratajczyk   
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German chemical company BASF expects its output to increase this year on all markets including Poland, where BASF has two plants, with a third under construction.
Last year was a difficult one for BASF. "The company's global sales dropped in 2009 by 19 percent to 50.7 billion euros. All segments of activity were affected, except for our performance products and agricultural solutions," Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at BASF, said at a press conference in the company's headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany. At the conference, he presented BASF's annual financial results. Its operating profit (EBIT), excluding exceptional income, fell 29 percent to 4.9 billion euros.
This year is expected to be much better for BASF. "A gradual improvement continues. The fourth quarter of 2009 brought us hope and put us in an optimistic mood. The worst is already over, but dark clouds are still hovering above us. 2010 will be a transitional year, with uneven growth across regions," Hambrecht said.
BASF expects growth in most of the sectors where its customers operate. These sectors, especially the automotive, IT and electrical industries, are now coming out of a deep recession. Hambrecht believes that BASF's sales in 2010 will rise and that the increase will be higher proportionally than in the global output of the chemical industry. BASF expects global industrial output to grow by around 5 percent in 2010.
The Polish market, which plays an important role in the company's strategy, is also expected to see growth. In 2009, BASF's sales in Poland came to 415 million euros versus 480 million euros in 2008. In Poland, BASF works with companies operating in almost all sectors of industry. The company's products include chemicals, polyurethanes, plastics, crop protection chemicals, construction chemicals, including concrete admixtures, and car paint.
Despite the crisis, BASF did not curb its investment plans. The company set aside 10 million euros for investment in new manufacturing sites in Poland in 2008-2010. BASF has two plants in Poland: in ¦rem near Poznań and in My¶lenice near Cracow. The first opened at the end of 2009 and produces construction chemicals. The other makes concrete admixtures. A third plant will open in ¦rem in the fourth quarter of this year. It will produce polyurethanes.
Andrzej Ratajczyk, Ludwigshafen
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