Financial Position

Equity rose from €36,109 million as of December 31, 2018, to €37,815 million. The equity ratio decreased from 41.7% to 41.1% as a result of the increase in total assets. Noncurrent liabilities grew by €1,838 million to €28,956 million. On the one hand, this was mainly attributable to the increase in other liabilities, of which around €800 million from the recognition of lease liabilities in connection with the initial application of IFRS 16. On the other hand, financial indebtedness rose by €765 million.

Current liabilities increased by €1,940 million since December 31, 2018, to €25,269 million as of the end of the first quarter of 2019. All items except trade accounts payable contributed to this increase, in particular other liabilities, which included around €400 million from the initial recognition of lease liabilities. Current financial indebtedness rose by €169 million. This was primarily driven by the €885 million increase in U.S. dollar commercial paper at BASF SE. The main offsetting effect was the scheduled repayment of a eurobond with a carrying amount of €750 million.

Overall, financial indebtedness rose by €934 million to €21,775 million. Net debt1 increased by €1,234 million compared with December 31, 2018, to €19,431 million. Both the increase in financial indebtedness and the decline in marketable securities contributed here.

1 For an explanation of this indicator, see Financial Position in the BASF Report 2018

Net debt (Million €)



Mar. 31, 2019

Dec. 31, 2018

Noncurrent financial indebtedness




+ Current financial indebtedness




Financial indebtedness




– Marketable securities




– Cash and cash equivalents




Net debt




In the first quarter of 2019, cash flows from operating activities amounted to €373 million, €858 million below the figure for the prior-year quarter. This was primarily attributable to the higher level of cash tied up in net working capital, especially for trade accounts receivable. The seasonal increase in trade accounts receivable in the Agricultural Solutions segment was higher than in the prior-year quarter due to the businesses acquired from Bayer. Lower net income and the higher level of cash tied up in miscellaneous items also contributed to the decrease. Higher amortization of intangible assets and depreciation of property, plant and equipment had an offsetting effect.

Cash flows from investing activities amounted to minus €837 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared with minus €634 million in the prior-year quarter. The increase in cash outflow was mainly due to higher payments made for financial assets and securities, as well as for intangible assets and property, plant and equipment.

Cash flows from financing activities amounted to €620 million in the first quarter of 2019, after €201 million in the prior-year quarter. The year-on-year increase was primarily due to higher net additions to financial and similar liabilities, with additions and repayments both above the prior-year level.

Free cash flow declined from €604 million in the prior-year quarter to minus €368 million, mainly as a result of lower cash flows from operating activities.

Q1 free cash flow (Million €)





Cash flows from operating activities




– Payments made for intangible assets and property, plant and equipment




Free cash flow




Our ratings have remained unchanged since the publication of the BASF Report 2018. Rated “A1/P-1/outlook stable” by Moody’s, “A/A-1/outlook stable” by Standard & Poor’s and “A/S-1/outlook stable” by Scope Ratings, BASF enjoys good credit ratings, especially compared with competitors in the chemical industry. These ratings were most recently confirmed by Scope Ratings on March 6, 2019, by Moody’s on February 15, 2019, and by Standard & Poor’s on January 11, 2019.