After a challenging 2016, German chemical maker BASF indicates the company is cautiously optimistic this year that higher oil prices will boost the company’s earnings, according to an article from The Economic Times. BASF’s main Ludwigshafen facility was rocked by a deadly explosion and fire last October that killed four people and temporarily shut down several production facilities.
According to the article, BASF made a net profit of 4.06 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in 2016, up 2% on the prior year. Operating profit was reportedly flat at 6.3 billion euros and group sales experienced an 18% drop to 57.6 billion euros. Revenues were also severely impacted by the company’s divesture of its gas trading and storage business as part of an asset swap agreed with Russia's Gazprom in 2015, according to The Economic Times. Low oil and gas prices also reportedly hurt the firms earnings, but BASF’s oil and gas unit expects that to change in 2017 when it anticipates crude oil prices will climb from around $44 to $55 per barrel.
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