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BASF CEO Hails Results Despite Missing Expectations

BASF CEO Kurt Bock told CNBC the firm's results were "solid and robust" in the current climate, despite falling short of analysts' expectations.


The world's largest chemical company by sales announced earnings before interest and tax of 2.2 billion euros ($3.20 billion), an increase of 1.4 percent, but below the 2.4 billion euros average analyst estimate and quarterly earnings for the firm also fell short of expectations.

Shares in the company fell by 5.4 percent on the news.

"We got a very solid and robust second quarter, sales were up 14 percent. If you take into account for the first time in this quarter we had negative effects from the currency, US dollar depreciation, I think this is a very solid and robust result which also is about the level which we achieved in a very good Q1 in 2011," he told CNBC.

Bock insisted that the firm maintained pricing power and he believed results for the year would be up on 2010.

"We increased our prices by 13 percent in Q2 and we almost passed on all of our raw material cost increases, I think that's a very positive sign," he said.

"Secondly, what we have said for the remaining six months is that we see a normalization of growth rates, as expected frankly and we confirmed our outlook for 2011 which says we will significantly increase sales and earnings above the record levels of 2010," he added.

Bock hinted at more M & A activity next year.

Citing the 2010 acquisition of Luxembourg chemical firm Cognis, Bock said:

"We made major investments, major acquisitions, more downstream, the latest one is Cognis, a health and nutrition business... very, very successful, excellent performance in 2011 and I can tell you we will continue down this road and certainly there will be lots of future acquisitions, although in 2011 we are quite busy still with the integration of Cognis."