Global rebound boosts German chemical giant BASF
BASF, the world's biggest chemical group, posted second quarter results that were better than expected as global demand picked up for its specialist products and plastics.
Net profit leapt to 1.18 billion euros (1.53 billion dollars) from 343 million in the same period a year earlier, a statement said.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an increase to 988 million euros.
The group's core chemical and plastic activities rebounded sharply owing to strong demand from around the world, while earnings from agriculture-related products were weaker.
Overall sales nonetheless jumped by 29.7 percent to 16.2 billion euros, beating forecasts for an increase to 15.2 billion.
BASF did not raise its full-year targets however, contrary to other German groups that have received a boost in the first six months of 2010.
Chairman Juergen Hambrecht said: "We expect our sales to grow in 2010 and outpace global chemical production" in the sector as a whole.
Core earnings "before special items will improve considerably," he added, from the 2009 figure of 3.6 billion euros.
"According to our dividend policy, we expect a higher dividend for 2010," Hambrecht said.
© 2010 AFP