BASF announces doubling of 1st quarter profits

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BASF, the world's biggest chemicals company, on Friday announced a more than doubling of first-quarter net profits despite the cut off in oil production in Libya.

Oil production in the country, hit by a widespread and violent rebellion, will probably not resume this year, the company said in a statement.

BASF made net profits of 2.4 billion euros ($ 3.4 billion) in the first quarter, compared to 1.03 billion over the same period last year.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast profits of 2.15 billion euros.

Turnover was up 25 percent at 19.4 billion euros, ahead of analyst expectations.

The firm, whose Wintershall subsidiary had been producing some 100,000 barrels of oil a day in Libya until late February, also said it was not counting on resuming production this year.

BASF said however it was optimistic about the year for which it expected "significant sales growth".

© 2011 AFP

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