Lysine, carotenoids hit BASF full-year fine chemicals performance

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Amino acid Basf

BASF's fine chemicals division has posted strong overall sales for
full year 2006, but weak sales of the amino acid lysine and
carotenoids continued to detract from its performance.

Full year sales were €1.85 bn, compared to €1.73 bn in 2005, while income from operations (EBITDA) was €184m, up from €89m last year.

However much of the good news stemmed from the newly acquired Engelhard Corp business, consisting of effect pigments and personal care materials.

On a comparable basis sales were actually down six per cent on last year.

"Sales were down primarily due to weak sales of lysine and carotenoids as well as a weaker custom synthesis business," it said.

The lysine and carotenoid scenario has previously been attributed to overcapacities and high raw material costs.

The company has said it is preparing steps to restructure its lysine business in Korea.

In October, BASF announced that it was combining its animal and human nutrition businesses under one marketing roof.

"As a result of our measures, we aim to improve the efficiency of our structures and processes and increase earnings in 2007," said the German group.

The fine chemicals division sits alongside agricultural products in BASF's Agricultural Products and Nutrition segment.

For the group as a whole, 2006 was a bumper year in which sales grew by 23.1 per cent to €52.6bn – the first year even in which they passed the €50bn mark – and EBITDA 18.1 per cent to €9.7bn.

In part, the results were strengthened by new business areas, with acquisitions in the areas of catalysts, construction chemicals and resins for paint and printing systems.

In particular, the chemicals division – including the catalysts division for the first time – ported a 43 per cent increase in sales to €11.6bn.

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