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Last Update: 03/12/2009
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Part of the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management´s Analysis

Opportunities and risks

Opportunities

Even in very difficult times, we want to maintain our leading position in the chemical industry and make a contribution to overcoming the economic crisis. With our innovative products and system solutions, we help companies in almost all industries to increase their innovative strength and thus lay the foundations for future growth. We will therefore continue our research and development efforts in high-growth and innovative areas.

Our corporate research is a strategic instrument in developing growth areas and securing the long-term technical and methodical competence of BASF. In so doing, we focus on five growth clusters that cover the most important approaches for future challenges: energy management, nanotechnology, white (industrial) biotechnology, plant biotechnology, and raw material change. BASF expects additional annual sales of between €2 billion and €4 billion as of 2015 from innovations based on projects in the growth clusters.

Energy efficiency and climate protection are topics that are gaining ever more importance. BASF was the first company in the world to publish a comprehensive global carbon footprint. The results confirm that BASF’s innovative products save three times more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire amount released through the production and disposal of all BASF products. In this way, for example, our modern insulating materials can decrease the energy consumption in residential buildings by more than 70%. Automobiles will become more climate friendly through BASF products such as plastics, fuel additives and catalysts. German and European politicians are responding to the challenges of the economic crisis by significantly promoting investment in the fields of energy efficiency and climate protection. With our innovative products, we are well positioned to make a significant contribution.

In the currently difficult economic environment, we reaffirm our position as global market leader in the chemical industry by shaping our portfolio to be even more robust and competitive. We are expanding our position in specialty chemicals through the purchase of Ciba Holding AG. Through the integration, we are extending our value-adding chains and in this way utilize the growth and earnings potential of Ciba to its full extent. In the Oil & Gas segment, the acquisition of Revus Energy ASA with its highly valuable development and exploration portfolio, strengthens the activities of BASF in the North Sea and creates growth potential.

We are accelerating the implementation of our programs for restructuring and increasing efficiency. In addition to the ongoing cost-cutting activities, we started the operational excellence program NEXT in October 2008, which encompasses a large number of measures for increased efficiency. As of 2012, we expect to increase earnings by more than €1 billion annually, a significant part of which will be realized in 2009 and 2010.

Risks

Based on currently available information, there are no substantial individual risks at the present time or in the foreseeable future that endanger the continued existence of the BASF Group. The total sum of individual risks also does not pose a threat to the continued existence of the BASF Group.
More information can be found in the chapter “Risk Report”

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