* BASF to sell omega-3 fatty acids plant in Norway
* To cut 260 jobs around the world
* Aim is to bolster profits at Performance Products division
(Adds details on Norway plant, executive comment, background)
FRANKFURT, April 25 Germany's BASF
said on Friday it would sell a plant in Norway and cut jobs
around the world as it tries to boost profits at its health and
BASF, the world's biggest chemicals maker by sales, has been
seeking to expand its Performance Products division that
includes health and nutrition - for instance recently buying
Norwegian fish oil maker Pronova - but integration of
acquisitions and restructuring have weighed on profitability.
The annual operating profit margin of BASF's Performance
Products division narrowed to 12.8 percent from 13.3 percent
BASF now plans to sell its Brattvag site in Norway, which
makes low concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, and cut about 260
jobs in production, marketing and administration around the
world by the end of 2015.
It is also building a plant in Malaysia with its partner
Petronas - due to start coming on stream in 2016 - which will
manufacture citral, an ingredient in flavours and fragrances, to
tap into growing demand from Asia.
"Through these measures we will adapt our business to better
meet market and customer needs. At the same time, we will
improve our profitability," Saori Dubourg, head of BASF's
Nutrition & Health business, said in a statement.
BASF said it would continue to look into further measures to
bolster the Performance Products segment.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Sophie Walker)