Feb. 26 - BASF, the world's largest chemicals company by sales, misses analyst expectations for its quarterly profit due to lower chemicals margins. Ciara Sutton reports.
1.79 billion euros is today's daily digit - it's BASF's quarterly profit, which came in 7 million euros below analyst expectations. Shares in the world's largest chemical company by sales fell around 3 percent in early trade. CEO Kurt Bock say concerns in peripheral Europe continue to weigh on sales. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BASF CEO, KURT BOCK, SAYING: "I think it's obvious that southern European countries have been very soft for BASF over the last two years. We had a little bit of growth in Europe but that really came from central Europe and the emerging European countries. I sincerely hope that Italy will be able to overcome this uncertainty as quickly as possible." BASF employs more than 100,000 people globally - half of them in Germany It makes a variety of products including chemicals, plastics and agricultural solutions It says it's unlikely to revive its share buyback program - once a mainstay of its shareholder pay out strategy. It wants to use that cash to develop new products and upgrade its plants and equipment. Recent reports suggest BASF has lost market share to British cosmetics ingredient maker Croda International - its shares rose 3% on BASF's results.