ERJ staff report (TP)
Munich, Germany − Wacker Chemie AG posted higher sales and earnings in Q4 2013 than in the comparable year-earlier period. As the company expected, though, full-year sales and earnings were below 2012’s results.
According to its preliminary calculations, the Munich-based chemical group generated total sales of €4.48bn in 2013 (2012: €4.63bn), some 3 percent down on 2012. The decline was chiefly prompted by lower prices for polysilicon and semiconductor wafers. All in all, price effects reduced Group sales by some €370m or 8 percent in 2013. The chemical divisions, though, counterbalanced the price pressures with higher volumes, keeping their total sales steady at the prior-year level.
Based on preliminary figures, Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at around €679m (2012: €795m). This is close to 15 percent less than in the previous year. The preliminary calculation for earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) is €114m for 2013 (2012: €267m). Wacker’s 2013 net income amounts to €6m (2012: €115m).
Wacker said the persistently low solar-silicon prices were the chief factor weighing on earnings. Although more or less stable from the start of 2013, annual solar-silicon prices were about a third lower on average than in 2012. Exchange-rate effects and the strong euro also played a role. Wacker’s chemical divisions, though, increased their EBITDA by over 11 percent compared to the previous year, thanks mainly to higher volumes.
“The figures for 2013 are in line with our expectations and forecasts,” said CEO Rudolf Staudigl. “We are pleased that our final-quarter sales and earnings were better than in 2012. In polysilicon, volumes picked up strongly, even though prices have not improved noticeably in the fourth quarter. In chemicals, demand was very healthy despite the usual slowdown during the winter months. Overall, our fourth-quarter performance offers a good basis for starting the new fiscal year.”
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Press release from Wacker