BASF increased sales by €2.6 billion compared with the first quarter of 2020 to €19.4 billion. This was mainly due to higher prices and volume growth. Compared with the same quarter of the prior year, income from operations (EBIT) before special items rose by 42 percent to €2.3 billion. This was primarily attributable to considerably higher earnings contributions from the Materials and Chemicals segments. The Surface Technologies segment also recorded considerable earnings growth thanks to the recovery in automotive production. All regions contributed to the considerable increase in the BASF Group’s earnings in the first quarter of 2021.
EBIT rose by €855 million compared with the first quarter of 2020 to €2.3 billion. Income from operations before depreciation, amortization and special items (EBITDA before special items) increased by €602 million to €3.2 billion and EBITDA rose by €748 million to €3.2 billion in the same period.
The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of BASF SE a dividend of €3.30 per share for the 2020 business year. This is equal to the dividend per share paid for the 2019 business year. If this dividend proposal is accepted, around €3 billion will be paid out to shareholders on May 4, 2021. Based on the year-end closing share price of €64.72, BASF shares offer a high dividend yield of 5.1 percent. “We want the BASF dividend to remain attractive for you in the future as well,” said Brudermüller at the virtual Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.
Early economic indicators have risen over the past few months, signaling a stronger recovery in macroeconomic activity than BASF previously assumed. However, the renewed rise in infection rates in many countries and ongoing restrictions on economic activity mean that the economic situation is still extremely fragile. In addition, disruptions to global supply chains could temporarily impact industry growth.
Based on the development of sales and earnings in the first quarter of 2021, the stronger-than-expected recovery of the global economy and much higher raw materials prices than planned, the forecast for the BASF Group presented in the BASF Report 2020 was revised as follows (previous forecast from the BASF Report 2020 in parentheses):
Sales growth to between €68 billion and €71 billion (between €61 billion and €64 billion)
EBIT before special items of between €5.0 billion and €5.8 billion (between €4.1 billion and €5.0 billion)
Return on capital employed (ROCE) of between 9.2% and 11.0% (between 8.0% and 9.2%)
Increase in Accelerator sales to between €19.0 billion and €20.0 billion (between €18.0 billion and €19.0 billion)
Stabilization of CO2 emissions at between 20.5 million metric tons and 21.5 million metric tons (unchanged)