The world's biggest chemicals maker BASF AG reported a robust start to 2008 with the group posting Thursday a solid rise in earnings during the first three months of the year, reported the dpa.
BASF said its first-quarter net profit rose 13 per cent to 1.2 billion euros (1.9 billion dollars) on the back of higher oil prices.
"The good start in the first quarter confirms out positive outlook for 2008," said BASF chief Juergen Hambrecht releasing the results with the sales in the group's oil and gas operations reporting a 26-per-cent increase during the quarter.
The unit's earnings before interest and tax rose 16 per cent to 984 million euros. Total group sales for the quarter grew 8.8 per cent 15.921 billion euros.
Hambrecht forecast that global economic and chemical production would grow 2.8 per cent this year.