BASF said that it had sales of €59.3 billion in the 2019 business year, a slight decline from the previous year.

Income from operations (EBIT) before special items was €4.5 billion, down by €1.7 billion from the prior-year level as a result of lower contributions from the company’s Materials and Chemicals segments.

According to the company, the trade conflicts between the United States and China had a negative impact, and key sales markets developed more slowly, intensified by uncertainties related to Brexit. While growth in industrial and chemical production was significantly slower than expected, demand from many key customer industries, especially from the automotive sector, declined considerably.

‘Our company performed well, even in difficult times. 2019 was a challenging year with strong global economic headwinds,’ said chairman, Dr Martin Brudermüller. ‘We increased our earnings in all downstream segments despite the difficult market environment. Unfortunately, this could not offset the decline in the basic chemicals business.’

Sales in Q4 2019 declined by 2% compared to Q4 2018 to €14.7 billion.

BASF says that its 2020 outlook is a sales growth of between €60 billion and €63 billion and EBIT before special items of between €4.2 billion and €4.8 billion.

This story uses material from BASF, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.