BASF boosts full-year forecast

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) –


German chemicals producer BASF lifted its forecast for 2017 Thursday after hitting its targets for the second quarter, rounding out a strong first half for the group.

The firm based in Ludwigshafen, western Germany reported net profits of almost 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) between April and June, up 37 percent on the same period in 2016.

Sales grew 12 percent to reach almost 16.3 billion euros, producing an operating profit up 27 percent at 2.2 billion.

Chief executive Kurt Bock hailed a "positive demand trend" that had favoured BASF in the second quarter.

After strong first-quarter results earlier this year, BASF chose not to increase its forecasts as it eyed risks to economic growth and political stability around the world.

"BASF now takes a somewhat more positive overall view of the underlying conditions," the firm said Thursday.

It now expects to achieve a "considerable increase" in underlying profit before special items of at least 11 percent compared with 2016, on the back of revenues rising by at least 6.0 percent.

Over the rest of the year, the group expects slower expansion in its chemicals division, lower oil prices and a weaker dollar will slow down growth in its earnings.