Adding value through growth and innovation: BASF's formula for success

    Ludwigshafen (ots) -          * BASF presents excellent financial statements for 2000     * Sales climb by 22 percent     * Income from operations before special items rises by 15 percent          In 2000, BASF posted the highest sales and the highest income from operations before special items in its history. Sales climbed by 22 percent to almost Euro36 billion, whereas income from operations before special items rose by more than 15 percent to Euro 3.4 billion. The company plans to pay out a dividend of Euro 2.00 per share - the highest ever in BASF's history.          "I am pleased to be able to present such good figures for BASF, after what has not been an easy year for the chemical industry," explained Dr. Jürgen F. Strube, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF Aktiengesellschaft, in Ludwigshafen, Germany today (March 14, 2001). "Our formula for success is paying off," he added, before going on to say that he intends to increase the value of the world's largest chemical company through growth and innovation.          Portfolio actively restructured          By rapidly and precisely restructuring its portfolio in recent years, BASF has set the stage for further growth. Important measures in 2000 included:

    * The acquisition of the superabsorbents manufacturer Chemdal has made BASF the clear number one in this large growth market.

    * Following the purchase of the crop protection business of American Home Products, BASF has become the world's number three company in agricultural products.

    * In vitamins, BASF has significantly strengthened its position as number two in the world by acquiring the vitamins business of Takeda.

    * By combining its polyolefins business with that of Shell in the Basell joint venture and its textile dye business in DyStar, BASF has strengthened its concentration on the core business of innovative chemistry.

    * Through the sale of its pharmaceuticals activities to Abbott,
BASF has made a gain of Euro 6 billion and has thus significantly
expanded its financial potential.
    On the basis of its future-oriented portfolio BASF intends to
adhere to its stated aim of increasing its income from operations
before special items in 2000, 2001 and 2002 by an average of at least
10 percent. In achieving this goal, the company will receive
important support from its oil and gas business. "In this segment we
were able to more than double our earnings in 2000. We were thus able
to compensate for high raw material costs that put margins in our
chemicals businesses under pressure. This compensatory mechanism is
not just pure chance, but rather a deliberate strategic instrument,"
explained Strube.
    Growth in all segments and regions
    2000 was a year of pronounced growth for BASF. It posted
double-digit sales growth in all segments. In each quarter, the
company raised sales volumes by an average of 6.5 percent. Unlike
many of its competitors, BASF also achieved double-digit growth in
sales in the last quarter of 2000. However, the slowdown  of the U.S.
economy made it more difficult to pass on increases in the prices of
raw materials to customers. In the fourth quarter therefore, income
from operations before special items was at the previous year's
    Double-digit sales growth was achieved in all regions. In
particular, BASF has expanded its position in the growth regions Asia
and South America, where it increased sales by 28 percent and 36
percent, respectively. In North America, BASF also grew faster than
the market, increasing sales by 24 percent.
    All operating divisions made a positive contribution to income
from operations with the exception of Agricultural Products, which is
still burdened by the costs of integrating the recently acquired crop
protection business. However, the integration process is running
smoothly and is expected to achieve annual cost savings of
approximately $250 million, with half the amount being achieved in
    In addition to growth, innovations are the other half of BASF's
formula for adding value. The company's innovative strength is based
on continually renewing products and processes, its creative system
solutions, and the broad potential of the chemistry it uses. "We are
continually improving our products and developing new ones. New
agricultural products such as our latest fungicide F 500(r) are
extremely effective, environmentally friendly and offer very
promising returns," said Strube.
    Chemical business in 2001: Solid with more activity in the second
    BASF's Chairman expects chemical business to be solid in 2001,
although there will be differences between the main economic regions.
The company will use its global position to balance these differences
and thus achieve good results for the year in total. Strube
anticipates the first half-year will be somewhat subdued for BASF and
the industry as a whole, but that business will pick up momentum in
the third and fourth quarters. "In general, we are positioning
ourselves for the upturn in the chemical market expected in 2002 in
the United States and the world markets. To coincide with this,
important large-scale plants like our cracker in Port Arthur will go
on stream to profit from this growth. Our corporate strategy is
paying off, and we are confident that following a successful year
2000, we will also be successful in facing the challenges of 2001,"
he explained.
    BASF is a transnational chemical company that aims to increase and
sustain its corporate value through growth and innovation. The
company's product range includes high-value chemicals, plastics,
colorants and pigments, dispersions, automotive and industrial
coatings, agricultural products and fine chemicals as well as crude
oil and natural gas. BASF's approach to integration, known in German
as "Verbund," is one of its particular strengths, ensuring cost
leadership and a unique competitive advantage. With sales in 2000 of
about Euro 36 billion (circa $34 billion) and a workforce of 103,000
employees, BASF is one of the world's leading chemical companies.
BASF acts in accordance with the principles of Sustainable
Development. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in
Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and New York (BF). The company's
Internet address is
    Information on the Annual Press Conference can be found on the
Internet at:
    You can download photos of BASF from the Internet at:
    Forward-looking statements

    This release contains forward-looking statements under the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based
on current expectations, estimates and projections of BASF management
and currently available information. They are not guarantees of
future performance, involve certain risks and uncertainties that are
difficult to predict and are based upon assumptions as to future
events that may not prove to be accurate. Many factors could cause
the actual results, performance or achievements of BASF to be
materially different from those that may be expressed or implied by
such statements. Such factors include those discussed in BASF's Form
20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not
assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements
contained in this release.
    Key figures from our 2000 Financial Report
    BASF Group
    Million Euro            2000              1999                 Change
                                                                                  in %
    Sales                      35,946          29,473                  22.0
    Income from
    Operations before
    special items          3,400            2,950                  15.3
    Income from
    Operations                3,070            2,009                  52.8
    Income before taxes
    and special items    3,024            2,795                    8.2
    Income before
    taxes and minority
      interests                 2,827            2,606                  8.5
    Net income                 1,240            1,237                  0.2
    Cash provided
    by operating
    activities                 2,992            3,255                 -8.1
    expenditures              6,931            3,253                113.1
    Research and
    expenses                    1,526            1,333                 14.5
    Dividend of BASF
    Aktiengesellschaft    1,215                695                 74.8
    Dividend per share
    (Euro)                         2.00              1.13                 77.0
    Number of employees 103,273        104,628                 -1.3
    (December 31)
    Sales in segments
    in million Euro          2000              1999              Change
                                                                                  in %
    Chemicals                  5,789            4,423              30.9
    Plastics & Fibers    11,030            8,628              27.8
    Colorants &
    Finishing Products    7,109            6,395              11.2
    Health & Nutrition    6,717            5,602              19.9
    Oil & Gas                  3,957            3,051              29.7
    Other*                        1,344            1,374              -2.2
    Total                        35,946          29,473              22.0
    Income from operations in segments
    in million Euro          2000              1999              Change
                                                                                  in %
    Chemicals                    713                 737                -3.3
    Plastics & Fibers        889                 644                38.0
    Colorants &
    Finishing Products      522                 608              -14.1
    Health & Nutrition    -201                -588                65.8
    Oil & Gas                 1,310                 741                76.8
    Other*                        -163                -133              -22.6
    Total                        3,070              2,009                52.8
    Capital expenditures in segments
    in million Euro          2000              1999              Change
                                                                                  in %
    Chemicals                      880                765                15.0
    Plastics & Fibers         599                998              -40.0
    Colorants &
    Finishing Products    1,260                324              289.0
    Health & Nutrition    3,464                281                .
    Oil & Gas                      267                524              -49.0
    Other*                          461                361                27.7
    Total                         6,931            3,253              113.1
    * Sales and earnings of fertilizer business and of other
businesses, as well as expenditures, earnings and assets not
allocated to the segments.
    Sales by regions (location of customer)
    in million Euro          2000              1999              Change
                                                                                  in %
    Europe                      20,103          16,996                18.3
    - Thereof Germany  (7,897)         (6,934)            (13.9)
    North America
    (NAFTA)                      8,419            6,773                24.3
    South America            2,500            1,842                35.7
    Asia, Pacific
    Area, Africa              4,924            3,826                27.5
    Total                        35,946          29,473                22.0
    Capital expenditures by region
    in million Euro          2000              1999              Change
                                                                                  in %
    Europe                        2,674            1,950              -37.1
    - Thereof Germany    (1,298)         (1,595)         (-18.6)
    North America
    (NAFTA)                      3,294            1,105              198.1
    South America                431                 83              419.3
    Asia, Pacific
    Area, Africa                 532                115              362.6
    Total                         6,931            3,253              113.1
    Key BASF share data
                                              2000                 1999
    Number of shares
    on December 31                    607                  621
    (in millions)
    Per share in Euro
    Earnings per share            2.02                 2.00
    Earnings per share
    according to U.S. GAAP      2.37                 2.14
    Cash provided by
    operating activities         4.88                 5.27
    Dividend                            2.00                 1.13
    Dividend with tax credit  2.86                 1.61
    Dividend yield
    excluding tax credit         4.2 %              2.2 %
    Dividend yield
    including tax credit         5.9 %              3.1 %
    Stockholders' equity         23.55              22.78
    Year-end share price         48.17              51.90
    Highes share price            50.68              52.20
    Lowest share price            39.40              30.19
ots Originaltext: BASF

Michael Grabicki
P 091e
Tel. (06 21) 60-9 99 38
Fax (06 21) 60-2 01 29

Original-Content von: BASF SE, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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