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Sales and Earnings Forecast for the Segments

For the Chemicals segment in 2021, we expect a slight increase in sales, mainly driven by growth in volumes in line with a market recovery and higher prices. In the Petrochemicals division, we expect an improved availability of steam cracker products following the unplanned outage at the steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, in 2020. In the Intermediates division, we anticipate higher sales volumes in all business areas. Price levels will likely rise, primarily due to higher raw materials prices in both divisions and from a favorable product mix in the Petrochemicals division. Currency effects are expected to dampen sales performance. We expect considerable growth in EBIT before special items, mainly through higher sales volumes, due in part to improved availability of steam cracker products, and a recovery in margins.

For the Materials segment, we expect sales to be considerably above the previous year in 2021 due to higher volumes. In the Performance Materials division, we expect higher demand from all customer industries. For the Monomers division, we anticipate higher volumes, specifically for isocyanates and polyamides. Currency effects should reduce sales performance. We want to considerably increase EBIT before special items through the increase in volumes and a recovery in margins, especially in the Monomers division.

Sales in the Industrial Solutions segment will likely decline slightly in 2021, mainly as a result of the agreement to divest BASF’s global pigments business to DIC. This should be partially offset by higher volumes in both divisions. We anticipate slightly lower EBIT before special items, due in particular to the sale of BASF’s global pigments business and higher fixed costs. This will not be completely offset by the expected growth in volumes.

In the Surface Technologies segment, we are forecasting slight sales growth in 2021, primarily from higher precious metal prices in the Catalysts division and higher volumes in both divisions. We aim to considerably improve the segment’s EBIT before special items compared with 2020, mainly through volume growth. We anticipate considerably higher EBIT before special items in the Coatings division but a slight year-on-year decrease in EBIT before special items in the Catalysts division due to lower contributions from precious metal trading.

For the Nutrition & Care segment, we expect slightly higher sales than in 2020. Higher volumes in both divisions will likely be partially offset by negative price and currency effects. Our planning assumes improved product availability, especially in the Nutrition & Health division. We expect the segment’s EBIT before special items to be slightly above the previous year, due to a higher contribution from the Nutrition & Health division, driven by volume growth. For the Care Chemicals division, we are forecasting a slight year-on-year decrease in EBIT before special items as a result of slightly higher fixed costs due to costs for the startup of new plants.

We expect sales to be slightly above the prior-year level in the Agricultural Solutions segment. We aim to increase our sales volumes and prices, which should more than offset negative currency effects. Overall, we expect a slight increase in EBIT before special items. Alongside higher sales, this will be driven by stringent fixed cost management. In addition, we will benefit from the measures to increase efficiency initiated in 2020. We will continue to invest in research and development and digitalization at a high level in 2021. Currency effects will presumably have a significantly negative impact on EBIT before special items in 2021.

Sales in Other are expected to be considerably above the 2020 level in 2021. This will be driven by sales growth in commodity trading. We anticipate a considerable improvement in EBIT before special items compared with the previous year. This should mainly reflect lower research expenses and higher contributions from other businesses.

Million € Sales EBIT before special items ROCE
  2019 Forecast 2020 2019 Forecast 2020 2019 Forecast 2020

Chemicals

8,071

slight increase

445

considerable increase

–2.2%

considerable increase

Materials

10,736

considerable increase

835

considerable increase

–1.1%

considerable increase

Industrial Solutions

7,644

slight decline

822

slight decline

9.3%

considerable increase

Surface Technologies

16,659

slight increase

484

considerable increase

–4.8%

considerable increase

Nutrition & Care

6,019

slight increase

773

slight increase

10.6%

considerable increase

Agricultural Solutions

7,660

slight increase

970

slight increase

3.6%

considerable increase

Other

2,360

considerable increase

–769

considerable increase

BASF Group

59,149

€61 billion–€64 billion

3,560

€4.1 billion–€5.0 billion

1.7%

8.0%–9.2%

a For sales, “slight” represents a change of 1%–5%, while “considerable” applies to changes of 6% and higher. “At prior-year level” indicates no change (+/–0%). For earnings, “slight” means a change of 1%–10%, while “ considerable” is used for changes of 11% and higher. “At prior-year level” indicates no change (+/–0%). At a cost of capital percentage of 9% for 2021, we define a change in ROCE of 0.1 to 1.0 percentage points as “slight,” a change of more than 1.0 percentage points as “considerable” and no change (+/–0 percentage points) as “at prior-year level.”

Last Update February 26, 2021