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Financial crisis hammers BASF in fourth quarter

BASF AG, the world's largest chemical company by sales, said yesterday it recorded a net loss for the fourth quarter as its business was hit significantly by the worldwide economic crisis.

Ludwigshafen-based BASF reported a net loss for the October-December period of 313 million euros (US$400 million), compared with a profit of 793 million euros a year earlier.

Sales for the quarter were 2.7 percent lower, declining to 14.3 billion euros.

For all of 2008, BASF, with products including paints, glues, plastics and fertilizers, said it recorded a 28-percent decline in net profit to 2.9 billion euros. In 2007, it earned 4 billion euros.

"Following a strong start, BASF Group's business worsened steadily in the further course of 2008," the company said in a statement.


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