BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, has announced that its business declined in the first quarter of 2009. At €12.2 billion, sales were 23% lower than in the first quarter of 2008, primarily due to persistently weak demand. Income from operations (EBIT) before special items fell by 58% to €985 billion as a result of a substantial decrease in volumes in many divisions.

BASF has responded by tailoring production to reflect the decline in demand and reduced inventories. Compared with the first quarter of 2008, cash flow nearly doubled, and net debt has been reduced by around €1.5 billion since the beginning of the year.

For more information, click here.