Sales at the German-based chemicals company rose 17% to €14.6bn, primarily due to acquisitions in 2006, plus higher volumes and sales prices in the chemical businesses.

Earnings in BASF‘s peformance products division were lower than the first quarter of 2006 because of pressure on margins for functional polymers.

“The good start in the first quarter confirms our positive outlook for 2007,” said BASF chairman Dr Jürgen Hambrecht. “We expect significantly higher sales based on the acquisitions made in 2006 and organic growth.”

The biggest region for sales was Europe, with turnover of €1.6bn.

BASF’s operations include supplying pigments for paints and MDF, resins for wood coatings, dispersions for decorative paints, raw materials for parquet floor adhesives, Dr Wolman timber preservatives and chemicals for wood glues.