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Sale boosts BASF profits but earnings fall


German chemicals maker BASF said on Tuesday its net profit rose 21 per cent in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, boosted by the sale of its drug unit. But earnings from ongoing business fell sharply because of the slowing world economy, the company said. Net profit rose to 123 million euros ($111 million) from 101 million euros in previous year's July-September period, the company said. The increase resulted from 111 million euros ($100 million) in additional income from an upward adjustment of the sale price for Knoll to U.S. drug maker Abbott Laboratories, to 6.1 billion euros ($5.5 billion). BASF's ongoing businesses showed a 57 per cent decrease in operating profit, to 328 million euros ($295 million) from 765 million euros. Operating profit excludes one-time expenses and financial factors such as interest and taxes. "2001 has been an unprecedented year for the global economy," said chief executive Juergen F. Strube, pointing to the economic slowdown that took hold in the second quarter."We have adapted to this difficult economic climate and have taken timely precautions." The company said it would save 400 million euros ($360 million) by reducing its level of investment next year, and was looking at closing and consolidating some of its facilities.

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