FRANKFURT, July 24 (Reuters) - Quarterly operating earnings at BASF, the world’s largest chemicals company by sales, rose slightly less than expected as product prices slipped.
Second-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), adjusted for one-off items, rose 12.1 percent to 2.05 billion euros ($2.76 billion), just short of the 2.12 billion euro average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales and net income also narrowly missed consensus estimates.
The German group said that despite unfavourable currency developments, it continued to target a slight increase in adjusted EBIT in 2014 but warned that the economic environment had become more challenging
BASF reiterated that it aimed to increase sales volumes excluding the effects of acquisitions and asset sales but that revenues would decline slightly due to the divestment of its gas trading and storage business.
$1 = 0.7431 Euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan