Chemical giant BASF yesterday reported its third-quarter results. Sales of the Ludwigshafen-based group have increased by 8% over Q3 2017, to €15.6bn, with a €1.47bn (14%) EBIT. However, what has raised concern among investors is a sharp decrease in sales of products for the automotive industry, on which it highly depends. Moreover, BASF’s management has announced that the results meet its expectations and also reflect the hard momentum due to the commercial war between the US and China. Similar statements were addressed some days ago to investors by the other German large chemical group Covestro, whose polyurethane business is strongly affected by the automotive industry weakening.
Importantly, BASF has reported that its analysts are weighing strategic options for its Construction Chemicals division, manufacturing building products, whose profits are reportedly no longer in line with BASF’s. The division delivered sales of 2.4bn in 2017 and has approximately 7,000 employees.