Cost-cutting, oil and gas help profits for BASF

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German chemicals firm BASF says that third-quarter net profit rose 18.5 percent as the company held down costs and saw higher sales from its businesses in oil and gas and industrial materials.

Net income was 1.096 billion euros ($1.512 billion), up from 925 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago.

BASF on Friday credited stronger earnings from its functional materials division, which makes a wide range of materials including catalysts, plastics and concrete ingredients for companies in the autos, electrical and construction industries.

Sales rose strongly at its oil and gas division.

BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, also reduced fixed costs at its specialty chemicals business and saw lower one-time deductions to earnings, including for executive stock compensation.

Revenues rose 1.5 percent to 17.73 billion euros.