The German firm’s performance products segment – which includes the API business of its nutrition and health division – saw sales decline 6% to €3.8bn ($4.1bn).
BASF said: “The nutrition & health division saw a considerable year-on-year decline, mainly due to the sale of parts of the pharmaceutical ingredients and services business.
It also reported that: “A slight dip in sales volumes was mostly attributable to lower demand in the remaining pharmaceutical business and in the human nutrition business, whereas volumes rose for animal nutrition.”
The performance products segment’s operating income increased 32% in the quarter to €486m, largely due to lower fixed costs following the divestiture.
BASF sold the majority of its drug actives business to Swiss manufacturer Siegfried Holdings last year. At the time it said the move would allow it to make more effective use of resources.
The only drug ingredients BASF held on to were omega-3 fatty acid APIs and the muscle pain active ibuprofen, which are sold by the nutrition and health division.
The firm told us it does not provide quarterly sales figures for specific products, but did say it is still the leading Western ibuprofen supplier and is expanding its “market position in generics for omega-3.”
BASF reported total sales of €14.5bn for the second quarter. It attributed the majority of the decline to the divestiture of its gas trading and storage business to Gazprom last September.
The firm reaffirmed the downbeat full year guidance it issued earlier this year, predicting that sales and operating income will be below 2015 levels.