BASF Seeks to Report Plant Science as Separate Unit After 2015

BASF SE (BAS) may report its plant science activities as a separate unit after 2015, when the company expects the operation that genetically modifies plants to start earning money.

“At the moment the investments for research and development far outweigh sales but when that balances, we’ll manage the area as a separate unit,” BASF board member Stefan Marcinowski said today in an interview on the sidelines of a press conference in Ludwigshafen, Germany. “That will be sometime after the middle of this decade. ”

Plant science has a project pipeline valued at 1.9 billion euros ($2.6 billion), and it’s currently lumped in with a plastics unit and a fertilizer business, Marcinowski said.

BASF expects approval for its genetically modified Fortuna potato in 2014 or 2015, Peter Eckes, head of plant science said today at a press conference. The company, which filed for approval for Fortuna on Oct. 31, had to wait 14 years for the official go-ahead to cultivate its gene-altered Amflora potato.

BASF’s crop protection division, which makes fungicides and pesticides, is targeting sales of 6 billion euros by 2020 with an average operating profit margin of 25 percent, the company said today.

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