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BASF third-quarter profit beats poll on specialty products

A factory of German chemical company BASF is pictured in Ludwigshafen February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BASF (GER:BAS), the world's largest chemicals company by sales, exceeded expectations for quarterly earnings on higher margins from specialty chemicals for industrial customers.

"Our business performance was robust in the third quarter of 2013," Chief Executive Kurt Bock said on Friday.

Third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), adjusted for one-off items, rose 15 percent to almost 1.7 billion euros (1.45 billion pounds), more than the 1.63 billion euro average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.

BASF said that despite economic uncertainty and negative currency effects it was still aiming to exceed 2012 levels of sales and adjusted EBIT.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Marilyn Gerlach)