Surface Technologies

The Surface Technologies segment comprises the Catalysts and Coatings divisions, which offer chemical solutions for surfaces. Its portfolio serves the automotive and chemical industries and includes automotive OEM and refinish coatings, surface treatment, catalysts, battery materials, and precious and base metal services. We improve our customers’ applications and processes with tailored products, technologies and solutions, and support them through geographical proximity and supply reliability across all regions. The aim is to drive BASF’s growth by leveraging our portfolio of technologies and expanding our position as a leading and innovative provider of battery materials and surface coatings solutions.


Globally, BASF is conducting research into innovative cathode materials that make electromobility a reality. BASF’s innovations for high-performance lithium-ion batteries will help double the driving range of a mid-size car from 300 to 600 km by 2025 and significantly reduce the charging time of electric vehicles. The photo shows a scientist filling a climate chamber with small test batteries at the Innovation Campus Shanghai, China. The batteries are investigated for several weeks under well-controlled temperature conditions. Small test batteries already provide very precise data to evaluate the performance over the entire lifespan of the battery in an electric car.


Factors influencing sales

EBIT before special items


Million €

2020 2019 2018
Sales to third parties 16,659 13,142 11,199
Share of total BASF sales (%) 28 22 19

of which Catalysts

13,570 9,396 7,469


3,089 3,746 3,730
Income from operations before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items 966 1,173 995
Income from operations before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) 900 1,120 953
EBITDA margin (%) 5 9 9
Income from operations (EBIT) before special items 484 722 617
EBIT before special items margin (%) 3 5 6
Income from operations (EBIT) –587 663 574
EBIT margin (%) –4 5 5
Return on capital employed (ROCE) (%) –4.8 5.7 5.3
Last Update June 8, 2021