(Adds further detail, CEO comments)
FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German chemicals company BASF SE (BAS.XE) Thursday said it has revised its outlook for adjusted earnings before interests and taxes for the full year, citing a more challenging economic environment.
The world's biggest chemical company said it now "wants to make every effort to match" previous year's figure. Previously, BASF was aiming to improve EBIT before special items slightly in 2008.
"The impact of the financial crisis on the real economy is speeding up and hitting harder," Chief Executive Juergen Hambrecht said, adding: "The decline in demand in important markets, stockpiling by our customers and the fall in oil prices are all signs of a recessionary trend that is likely to sharpen in 2009." BASF said it has therefore revised its assumptions for global economic growth and the average oil price in 2008. It now expects global economic growth of below 2.7% from a previously projected rate of 2.8%. Chemical production growth - excluding pharma - is seen below 2% after previously 2.4%. BASF expects an average oil price for Brent of $105 a barrel in 2008, compared to previously $120 a barrel and an average euro/dollar exchange rate of $1.45 per euro after previously $1.55 per euro.
Net profit fell to EUR758 million from EUR1.21 billion last year, as the year-ago figure was boosted by a non-recurring tax gain related to German corporate tax reform.
Third-quarter EBIT before special items fell to EUR1.51 billion from EUR1.69 billion a year earlier.
Sales rose to EUR15.77 billion from EUR14 billion a year ago, compared to analyst forecasts for sales of EUR15.2 billion.
Company Web site: www.basf.com
-By Natascha Divac, Dow Jones Newswires, +49 69 29 725 508, Natascha.Divac@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 30, 2008 03:38 ET (07:38 GMT)