BASF First-Quarter Profit Rose 8.9% on Engelhard Acquisition

German chemical company BASF said its first-quarter earnings rose nearly 9%, lifted in part by its acquisition last year of U.S. catalyst maker Engelhard.

The Ludwigshafen-based company earned 1.04 billion euros ($1.42 billion) in the first three months of the year compared with 950 million euros a year earlier, better than the 920 million euros ($1.26 billion) analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.

Sales rose to 14.63 billion euros ($19.97 billion) from 12.52 billion euros a year earlier, slightly better than the 14.46 billion euros ($19.74 billion) analysts predicted.

Looking ahead, the company reiterated its guidance for what it called "significant sales growth" through the rest of the year.

The company's chemicals divisions, said its pretax profit rose 98% to 628 million euros ($857.16 million), lifted in part by the Engelhard acquisition last year. Its agrochemicals unit saw pretax profit rise 15% to 257 million euros ($350.78 million).