Sales and earnings forecast for the segments

Sales in the Chemicals segment are expected to decrease slightly in 2015. Substantially lower oil and raw material prices will lead to price reductions in some business areas. Anticipated volumes growth in all three divisions – due in part to the startup of new plants – will not be able to fully compensate for this development. We foresee higher volumes in the Monomers division, especially of isocyanates and polyamide-6 extrusion polymers. In the Intermediates division, we especially expect sales volumes to rise in the amines and polyalcohols businesses. Overall, income from operations before special items is likely to decline slightly because of expenses for starting up several plants.

We want to considerably increase our sales in the Performance Products segment in 2015, mainly through organic growth. In the Dispersions & Pigments and Care Chemicals divisions, this endeavor will be supported by factors like new production capacities. We anticipate a considerable increase in volumes in the Nutrition & Health division. Sales prices are likely to remain under pressure, however. In the Performance Chemicals division, we plan on increasing sales volumes. The textile chemicals business will be sold to Archroma in the first half of 2015. Income from operations before special items is expected to considerably exceed the level of 2014, supported in all divisions by strict cost discipline and measures to increase competitiveness.

In the Functional Materials & Solutions segment in 2015, we anticipate higher demand from our key customer sectors, the automotive and construction industries. We predict a significant increase in volumes of our innovative specialties and system solutions. We want to considerably boost our sales. The startup of new plants in the Catalysts and Performance Materials divisions will support this growth. We are also striving for a considerable increase in income from operations before special items. All divisions will likely contribute to this development.

Forecast by segment1 (in million €)

 

 

Sales

Income from operations (EBIT) before special items

 

 

2014

Forecast 2015

2014

Forecast 2015

1

For sales, “slight” represents a change of 1–5%, while “considerable” applies for changes of 6% and higher. “At prior-year level” indicates no change (+/−0%). For earnings, “slight” means a change of 1–10%, while “considerable” is used for changes of 11% and higher. “At prior-year level” indicates no change (+/−0%).

Chemicals

 

16,968

slight decrease

2,367

slight decrease

Performance Products

 

15,433

considerable increase

1,455

considerable increase

Functional Materials & Solutions

 

17,725

considerable increase

1,197

considerable increase

Agricultural Solutions

 

5,446

considerable increase

1,109

considerable increase

Oil & Gas

 

15,145

slight decrease

1,795

considerable decrease

Other

 

3,609

considerable decrease

(566)

slight decrease

BASF Group

 

74,326

slight increase

7,357

at prior-year level

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, we expect prices for agricultural products to remain at the level of the second half of 2014. With exchange rates developing more favorably overall, we anticipate high market volatility. In this environment, we set ourselves the ambitious goal of increasing sales volumes and considerably improving sales and income from operations before special items.

We foresee a slight decrease in sales as well as considerably reduced income from operations before special items in the Oil & Gas segment as a result of the lower price of oil. In the Exploration & Production business sector, the negative effects of the decreased price of oil will probably be partly offset by the expansion of our activities in Norway and the growth in Achimgaz production in Russia. We also expect to partially resume our onshore production in Libya. Our portfolio optimization measures will continue. For the Natural Gas Trading business sector, we anticipate considerable earnings improvement thanks to a higher contribution from the transportation business as well as to rising sales volumes.

Sales in Other will decrease considerably, largely on account of lower raw material prices and lower plant availability due to a plant outage at the Ellba C.V. joint operation in Moerdijk, Netherlands. For income from operations before special items, we assume a slight decline, partly because of the lack of earnings from our share in Styrolution Holding GmbH, which was sold in 2014.