February 27, 2018 / 6:08 AM / 10 months ago

BASF predicts profit gain on specialty chems rebound

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany, Feb 27 (Reuters) - German chemicals maker BASF said it was aiming for a gain of up to 10 percent in group operating profit this year, as an earnings rebound from specialty chemicals offsets declines at its basic petrochemicals unit.

At its basic chemicals unit, operating profit, or earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted for one-off items, would likely drop by 11 percent or more in 2018, after a surge of 67 percent in the fourth quarter, the group said on Tuesday.

Supply bottlenecks and strong demand across the petrochemicals industry have flung BASF’s commodities business into a surprise upward cycle last year.

But BASF and its rivals are busy ramping up output capacity, which will likely bring down margins.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by Maria Sheahan

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