MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's largest chemicals firm by sales, posted 2% higher operating profit for the second quarter on Friday, as demand for specialty plastics for the automotive and construction industry outweighed lower oil and gas earnings, said the producer in its press release.
The group's earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), adjusted for one-off items, rose to 2.04 billion euros (USD2.24 billion) in the quarter to June, below the average estimate of 2.12 billion euros in a Reuters poll.
Operating profit at its Functional Materials and Solutions division, which mainly serves the automotive, electrical, and construction industries, jumped 29 percent to 458 million euros, while businesses such as oil and gas, crop chemicals and less specialised chemicals saw earnings decline.
The group unveiled plans on Thursday to set up separate legal entities for its underperforming pigments businesses and look into all options.
BASF, whose products include car coatings, foam chemicals, catalytic converters and mining chemicals, confirmed its 2015 forecast for flat operating profit and slightly rising sales.
As MRC informed earlier, ASF will form a global business unit (GBU) combining all of its pigments activities effective January 2016. In the second half of 2016, BASF intends to carve out its pigments business and establish separate legal entities.
BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.