- Sales up by €50 million to €2,849 million, driven by currency effects and higher volumes
- Earnings slightly above prior-year level, due in part to improved margins
Sales to third parties in the Intermediates division rose by €50 million to €2,849 million year-on-year due to positive currency effects and higher sales volumes. Prices were lower than in the previous year as a result of significantly reduced raw material prices (volumes 3%, prices –9%, portfolio –1%, currencies 9%).
Volumes growth was particularly observed in both the amines and polyalcohol businesses, as well as in specialties, primarily in North America and Asia. Competitive pressure from the startup of new capacities in the butanediol and derivatives business had a negative effect on sales.
Income from operations before special items rose slightly compared with the previous year, predominantly from volumes growth, an increased proportion of specialties in our product mix, and improved margins, especially for amines. This enabled us to more than compensate for overall higher fixed costs resulting from the greater number of scheduled plant turnarounds.
We concluded numerous investment projects in 2015, especially at BASF’s Verbund sites: We started up a formic acid plant in Geismar, Louisiana, while new facilities began operations for special amines in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and in Nanjing, China. With our joint venture partner Sinopec, we completed the construction of a neopentyl glycol plant in Nanjing, China.