Wood treatments giants Arch Chemicals and BASF both saw their profits dip in the first three months of the year.

Arch has reported a 2% drop in first quarter sales of its wood protection and industrial coatings due to weak European economic conditions.

The US-based company reported sales of US$52.7m and operating income of US$2.3m compared to US$53.8m and US$2.5m in the first quarter of 2001. Overall sales were US$211.1m.

  BASF has posted first quarter operating profits of euro818m before exceptional items, down 15% from the same period in 2001.

The Mannheim-based chemicals company, which has a wood coatings division, recorded sales of euro8.2bn, an 8% decrease.