(Adds Q3 loss, company comment, shares)
BERLIN, Oct 9 (Reuters) - BASF slashed its outlook on Friday after heavy writeoffs sent it to a quarterly net loss of 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion), blaming a slump in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a glut in basic chemicals.
The German group said it had taken 2.8 billion euros in fixed-asset impairments - largely due to weaker demand in the automotive and aviation industries - as it released its third-quarter results ahead of schedule.
The kitchen-sink writeoffs also reflected margin pressure in basic chemicals, the cost of streamlining BASF’s agricultural solutions segment and “realigning” its Global Business Services unit, the company said.
Shares fell 2.2% in afternoon trading in Frankfurt.
Before items, core operating profit is now expected to fall by as much as 35% this year, to between 3 and 3.3 billion euros, while revenue is expected to decline to between 57 and 58 billion euros.
“As well as weaker demand, the company expects pressure on margins to continue, especially for basic chemicals, which will be partially offset by fixed cost savings,” BASF said in a statement.
The outlook assumes a 5% contraction of the global economy and an oil price of $40 a barrel but does not factor in the possibility that rising coronavirus infections around the world will lead to renewed lockdowns. ($1 = 0.8467 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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