BASF Q1 2024 Sales Drop Marginally As New Chairman Takes The Helm

BASF’s financial report for Q1 2024 show sales amounted to €17.6 billion, €2.4 billion below the figure of the prior-year quarter. According to BASF, the decline was mainly driven by considerably reduced prices as a result of lower raw materials and energy prices in almost all segments, as well as lower precious metal prices in the Surface Technologies segment. Negative currency effects also contributed to the sales decrease in all segments.

Considerable growth in sales volumes in the Chemicals, Materials, Nutrition & Care and Industrial Solutions segments had a positive impact on sales, which more than compensated for lower volumes in the Surface Technologies (which includes refinish coatings) and Agricultural Solutions segments.

EBITDA before special items amounted to €2.7 billion, 5.7 per cent higher than the average of analysts’ estimates, but €153 million or 5.3 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2023. The Surface Technology segment also recorded lower EBITDA before special items than in the first quarter of 2023.

At €1.7 billion, EBIT was €177 million below Q1 2023, while depreciation and amortisation amounted to €965 million (Q1 2023: €944 million).

Income after taxes was €1.4 billion, down €193 million compared to Q1 2023. Non-controlling interests of €43 million were almost at prior-year level. As a result, net income amounted to €1.4 billion (Q1 2023: €1.6 billion).

Cash flows from operating activities amounted to negative €0.5 billion, compared with negative €1.0 billion in the prior-year quarter. The improvement was primarily due to lower cash out-flow from net working capital. Free cash flow, which was negatively impacted by the typical seasonal increase in receivables in the Agricultural Solutions segment, improved to negative €1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2024 compared with negative €1.9 billion in Q1 2023.

The company proposed a dividend of €3.40 per share, matching the prior-year level.

At the conclusion of the annual shareholders’ meeting, Dr Markus Kamieth assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at BASF, replacing Dr Martin Brudermuller.

Kamieth obtained his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Essen in 1998 and started his career at the company one year later. He has been a member of the Board of Executive Directors at BASF since 2017.

Brudermuller worked at BASF for 36 years. He was appointed to the Board of Executive Directors in 2006 and became Chairman in 2018.