Sales and income from operations before special items

  • At €74,326 million, sales match level of 2013
  • Income from operations before special items rises by 4% to €7,357 million

At €74,326 million, sales in 2014 matched the level of the previous year. In the chemicals business1, sales rose as a result of higher sales volumes. Increased volumes in the gas trading business and slight sales growth in the Agricultural Solutions segment likewise supported sales development. Sales declined considerably in Other.

Income from operations before special items grew by around 4% to €7,357 million. This was primarily the result of a larger contribution from the chemicals business. Earnings declined in the Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas segments.

1 Our chemicals business comprises the Chemicals, Performance Products and Functional Materials & Solutions segments.

Sales (in million €)
Sales (bar chart)
Income from operations before special items (in million €)
Income from operations before special items (bar chart)

Factors influencing sales

We raised sales volumes in all segments in 2014. Prices were reduced overall, largely on account of significant decreases in oil and gas prices. Negative currency effects dampened sales in almost all divisions. Portfolio effects did not have an appreciable impact on BASF Group sales.

Factors influencing sales BASF Group

 

 

Change in million €

Change in %

Volumes

 

3,400

4

Prices

 

(2,411)

(3)

Currencies

 

(775)

(1)

Acquisitions and changes in the scope of consolidation

 

296

0

Divestitures

 

(157)

0

Total change in sales

 

353

0

Sales and income from operations before special items in the segments

Sales in the Chemicals segment in 2014 matched the level of the previous year. Falling prices in all divisions were offset by higher sales volumes, especially in the Petrochemicals division. Income from operations before special items surpassed 2013 levels by 8%, supported by substantially larger contributions from the Petrochemicals and Intermediates divisions. The Monomers division, however, posted a considerable, margin-related decline in earnings.

In the Performance Products segment, sales were down by 1%. Despite an increasingly gloomy market environment over the course of the year, we were able to increase sales volumes with stable prices and thus almost fully compensate for negative currency effects. Income from operations before special items improved by 7% year-on-year. This was mainly because of the reduction in fixed costs brought about by restructuring measures and other factors.

In the Functional Materials & Solutions segment, significantly higher sales volumes – especially of products for the automotive industry – led to a 3% increase in sales, which was curbed by negative currency effects. Prices were stable overall. We raised income from operations before special items by 12% through considerable increases in the Catalysts and Coatings divisions.

Sales in the Agricultural Solutions segment exceeded the level of 2013 by 4% despite negative currency effects. This was largely due to robust business in Europe and North America as well as greater demand for fungicides and herbicides. Yet the drop in prices for agricultural products that resulted from the previous year’s successful harvests put a considerable strain on our business. Negative currency effects, margin declines due to a less favorable product mix, and higher expenditures for research and development as well as for production and distribution all led to a decrease of 9% in income from operations before special items.

Sales in the Oil & Gas segment grew by 2% in 2014, mainly through higher volumes in the natural gas trading business. Sharply falling oil and gas prices weakened sales growth. In the Exploration & Production business sector, the activities in Norway acquired from Statoil led to positive portfolio effects. Income from operations before special items declined by 3% as a result of slightly smaller contributions from both business sectors.

Sales in Other decreased by 14%. This was predominantly because of lower plant availability after a plant outage at the Ellba C.V. joint operation in Moerdijk, Netherlands. Income from operations before special items improved by 8%. The reversal of provisions for the long-term incentive (LTI) program and an improvement in foreign currency results not assigned to the segments were partly offset by lower earnings contributions from other businesses.