ICIS Chemical Business Unveils Top 100 Chemical Companies

17-Sep-2008 - United Kingdom

ICIS Chemical Business magazine has unveiled the ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies, featuring the world's top chemical players ranked by annual sales. According to the ICIS Top 100 listing of chemical company financial performance, sector sales rose by 11% in 2007 in local currency terms and 18% when converted to US dollars. Operating profits across the sector climbed by more than 12%. The average operating margin increase was 6%.

"Riding the rollercoaster of soaring energy and commodity prices, global chemical industry players performed remarkably well in 2007," saidNigel Davis, Insight Editor at ICIS.

Germany's BASF topped the chart with $85bn (EUR61bn) in sales in 2007, boosted by the 2006 acquisitions of US-based catalyst and specialty chemical firms Engelhard and Johnson Polymer, and Degussa's construction chemicals business, based in Germany.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will largely define the face of the global chemical industry in the coming years, according toJoseph Chang, Global Editor of ICIS Chemical Business.

"Today's challenging global economic environment presents a unique opportunity for profitable companies with strong balance sheets to boost their businesses - both from a market and technological basis," said Chang.

"With the credit market turmoil continuing unabated, fewer companies will be in the position to finance large deals," added Chang. "There will be less heated competition among both strategic and financial buyers bidding for assets."

In the ICIS Top 100,Netherlands-based LyondellBasell Industries ranks at number 5, with $45bnin 2007 pro forma sales, following Basell's acquisition of US-based Lyondell Chemical in 2007, and SABIC moves up to the 7th spot, with the Saudi chemical firm's acquisition of US-based GE Plastics last year.

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