Operating profit (EBIT) in the Plastics business segment of BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com) increased 2.8% to EUR 554m year-on-year in 2009 despite a 22% sales decline to EUR 7.1 bn. The rebound was led by Performance Polymers. Polyurethanes were pressured by lower prices for MDI and TDI.
All plastics products contributed positively to earnings, CEO Jürgen Hambrecht said, including the separately held Styrenics, which is up for sale. The improvement was especially strong in Q4, after losses in the 2008 period. While the upswing is expected to continue in 2010, Hambrecht warned that BASF is still "miles away from pre-crisis levels.