Shares in the world's biggest chemical group,
BASF, rose Friday after an increase in first-quarter sales and
"We have had a solid start to 2013," chief executive Kurt Bock said, pointing to strong demand for crop protection products and increased volumes in its oil and gas business.
Operating profit, or earnings before interest, tax and special items, climbed 10.1 per cent from the first quarter of 2012 to 2.2 billion euros (2.9 billion dollars), BASF said. Sales increased 4.8 per cent to 19.7 billion euros.
"The chemical industry will continue to produce more because emerging economies are growing," Bock said.
Net profit, however, fell 15.1 per cent to 1.4 billion euros in the first three months of the year, the company based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, said.
This drop, the company said, was because its first-quarter net profit in 2012 had been boosted by the sale of a fertilizer operation.
BASF shares were up 2 per cent at 71.42 euros during morning trading in Frankfurt.
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