In a tough market environment, BASF Group sales in the second quarter of 2023 declined by 24.7 percent compared with the prior-year period to €17.3 billion. “We faced low demand from our key customer industries, except for automotive,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, when presenting the results together with Chief Financial Officer Dr. Dirk Elvermann.
BASF had already adjusted its outlook for 2023 and released preliminary figures on July 12. The decline in sales was mainly driven by lower prices, primarily in the Chemicals, Surface Technologies and Materials segments. The Agricultural Solutions segment was able to implement price increases. Lower sales volumes as a result of weaker demand weighed down the sales performance in all segments. In addition, currency effects dampened sales.
Income from operations (EBIT) before special items of €1.0 billion in the second quarter of 2023 was €1.3 billion below the figure of the prior-year period. Almost all segments contributed to this with significant declines in earnings, in particular the Chemicals and Materials segments. EBIT before special items of the Agricultural Solutions segment decreased slightly. Surface Technologies achieved slight earnings growth. EBIT before special items attributable to Other improved considerably. EBIT decreased by €1.4 billion to €974 million. This figure includes income from integral companies accounted for using the equity method amounting to €22 million (prior-year period: €101 million).
Income from operations before depreciation, amortization and special items (EBITDA before special items) declined by €1.3 billion to €1.9 billion and EBITDA by €1.5 billion to €1.9 billion in the second quarter of 2023. Net income amounted to €499 million, compared with €2.1 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Based on the adjusted expectations for further development in the second half of the year, the forecast for the BASF Group for the 2023 business year was adjusted as follows (previous forecast from the BASF Report 2022 in parentheses):
Sales of between €73 billion and €76 billion (between €84 billion and €87 billion)
EBIT before special items of between €4.0 billion and €4.4 billion (between €4.8 billion and €5.4 billion)
Return on capital employed (ROCE) of between 6.5 percent and 7.1 percent (between 7.2 percent and 8.0 percent)
CO2 emissions of between 17.0 million metric tons and 17.6 million metric tons (between 18.1 million metric tons and 19.1 million metric tons).