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Business

European earnings surge

by Marc S. Reisch
October 30, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 43

Several major European chemical makers reported higher sales and earnings in the third quarter of the year compared with the year-ago period. At BASF, earnings rose 16% to $2.1 billion driven by “significantly higher sales prices in the chemicals segment,” the firm says. Overall sales rose 9% to $15.3 billion. CEO Kurt Bock attributes the results to increased demand. Germany’s Covestro reported its strongest quarter since spinning out of Bayer in 2015 with earnings up 50% to $1 billion on a 17% sales increase to $4.1 billion. The firm credits the boost in part to higher selling prices in its polyurethanes segment. Wacker Chemie said earnings rose 13% to $352 million as sales increased 14% to $1.5 billion. However, AkzoNobel reported strong headwinds as earnings slipped 13% to $452 million. Industrial chemicals maintenance costs hurt results. Revenue at the firm, which fought off a takeover from rival PPG earlier this year, eked out an increase of just 1% to $4.3 billion. Akzo says the spin-off of its chemicals business is still on track for April 2018.

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