BASF SE / Forecast


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Disappointing business in December and January makes short-time working
• Decline in demand and destocking continue
• Restructuring and efficiency programs accelerated 
• Concrete measures at BASF: Short-time working at several European sites;
Production line and site closures in North America and Asia

BASF’s global business declined significantly in December 2008. In all
regions, demand for chemical products has not picked up in the first half
of January and customers are continuing to destock. BASF’s chairman, Dr.
Jürgen Hambrecht, said that he currently sees no signs of a turnaround. The
situation remained tough and difficult to predict, and BASF does not expect
the economic environment to improve in the coming months. The decline in
business is greater than expected in November and will negatively impact

BASF reduced capacity utilization at its production plants at its six
Verbund sites worldwide in mid-November. On average, the capacity
utilization rate within the BASF Group is currently less than 75 percent.
Only demand for crop protection products and products for the food industry
remains high.

Since implementing the production capacity reductions, BASF has wherever
possible been using flexible working time arrangements such as reduction of
overtime and holiday accounts at the affected sites worldwide. In doing so,
the company is also utilizing the benefits offered by its integrated
approach to production known as Verbund, which allows employees to be
transferred between plants with varying capacity utilization rates.

Flexible working time arrangements are no longer sufficient to absorb the
effects of production cuts everywhere. This applies primarily to sites that
manufacture products for the automotive industry. For example, short-time
working will be introduced in February for approximately 1,500 employees at
BASF Coatings’ site in Münster, Germany, and for 180 employees in
Schwarzheide, Germany. Working hours have already been reduced for about
150 employees at two smaller coatings sites in Italy. BASF cannot rule out
the introduction of short-time working at further sites. In Ludwigshafen
and Antwerp, it can be avoided for the time being thanks to the use of
flexible manpower planning. The company’s management has already agreed a
preliminary framework with employee representatives that will allow the
rapid introduction of short-time working in Ludwigshafen if necessary.

Hambrecht explained that BASF would maintain strict discipline with regard
to costs and expenditures and would accelerate the implementation of its
existing global restructuring and efficiency programs. BASF has already
announced plant closures in North America and Asia: Examples include a BASF
coatings site in New Jersey and a production plant for precursors for
plastics in Korea. These closures will result in a reduction of almost 200
jobs. Further job reductions may be necessary, depending on how economic
conditions develop. In that event, the company will seek socially
responsible solutions and will proceed with a long-term perspective.

Gareth Rees
Phone:  +49 621 60-20732
Fax: +49 621 60-92693
DGAP 19.01.2009 
Language:     English
Issuer:       BASF SE
              Carl-Bosch-Straße 38
              67056 Ludwigshafen
Phone:        +49 (0)621 60-0
Fax:          +49 (0)621 60-4 25 25
ISIN:         DE0005151005, DE000A0JRFB0, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse,  , DE000A0JRFA2, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, , DE000A0JQF26, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse,  , DE000A0EUB86, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, , DE0008846718, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, 
WKN:          515 100, WKN A0JRFB, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse,  , WKN A0JRFA, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, , WKN A0JQF2, Börse Dublin, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse,  , WKN A0EUB8, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, , WKN 884671, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, 
Indices:      DAX, EURO STOXX 50
Listed:       Regulierter Markt in Berlin, Frankfurt (Prime Standard),
              Hannover, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, München, Hamburg;
              Terminbörse EUREX; Foreign Exchange(s) London, SWX
End of News                                     DGAP News-Service