The other sections of the €15.5bn division – 'Dispersions and Pigements’; ‘Care Chemicals’; ‘Paper Chemicals’ and ‘Performance Chemicals’ – all saw sales diminish compared to 2012.
BASF said its Nutrition and Health division had been boosted by the early 2013 purchase of Norwegian omega-3 giant, Pronova BioPharma, for about €650m. But the VMS space remained challenging.
“…sales to third parties rose by €129 million to €2,088 million in 2013,” the agriculture, ingredients and chemicals giant said.
“This considerable growth is attributable to the integration of the acquired Pronova BioPharma ASA business, a leading producer of omega-3 fatty acids. The sales increase was weakened by negative currency effects as well as by lower sales prices mainly resulting from sustained competitive pressure in the vitamins business (volumes 2%, prices –2%, portfolio 10%, currencies –3%).”
“With demand largely stable, we were able to raise our sales volumes in almost all business areas and regions. We posted the largest volumes growth in the pharmaceutical and flavor and fragrance business areas.”
But profits were “considerably” below 2012 levels (not given in detail).
“This was largely because of rising margin pressure and negative currency effects. Fixed costs were higher than the previous year’s level, owing to increased research spending and higher production and selling expenses. Special charges arose from the integration of Pronova BioPharma and measures to increase our competitiveness.”
For the whole group, sales grew 3% to €74bn in the year, with EBIT profits gaining €543m to €7.2bn.
For the final quarter, sales stayed steady at about €18bn with EBIT of €1.6bn.