BASF plant in Ludwigshafen (archive photo)
Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa / dpaweb
For the first time in decades, BASF closed a year in the red.
Because of depreciation worth billions, there was a net loss of a billion euros in 2020, as the chemical company announced in an annual report.
Operating profit fell 23 percent to 3.6 billion.
In contrast, sales of 59.1 billion euros were almost at the previous year's level.
"Last year was challenging, but there was a strong final spurt," said company boss Martin Brudermüller, referring to a strong fourth quarter in 2020.
In February 2020 - shortly before the start of the pandemic - the Ludwigshafen-based chemical company had given a clearly positive outlook, which it had to correct in April.
2021 should get better
In the current year, BASF expects better business again.
The turnover should increase accordingly to 61 to 64 billion euros, the operating profit to 4.1 to 5.0 billion euros.
Despite the declines in the year as a whole, the group plans to distribute as much money to shareholders as it did a year earlier.
The dividend should again amount to 3.30 euros per share, according to the report.
In addition, there should be bonus payments of around 360 million euros for employees.
BASF was particularly concerned about the weak demand from the auto and aviation industries in the first few months of the corona pandemic.
Recently, however, business has been better again thanks to increasing demand, especially from car manufacturers.
Icon: The mirror
bah / dpa