Munich, Germany – Wacker Chemie AG’s silicones business has reported lower revenue and earnings for the first quarter of 2020, despite higher volume sales.
Segment sales fell 3% year-on-year to €590.0 million, due mainly to a decline in standard silicones prices, preliminary results by the Munich-based chemicals group showed 30 April.
Earnings (EBITDA) came in at €118.6 million in the reporting quarter, down 7% from a year earlier. Wacker linked the decline to lower prices, which were partially offset by higher volumes – particularly for specialities – and currency impact.
The German group reported total sales of €1.20 billion, down 3% compared to last year, due mainly to lower prices for solar-grade polysilicon and standard silicones.
Group earnings, however, rose 23% to €174 million, on higher plant utilisation and cost-cutting effects.
Wacker, at this time, declined to offer a full year forecast due to the potential economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The virus-related risks to the company’s earnings and financial position are becoming ever-more apparent,” said Wacker.
To counter the Covid-19 impact, Wacker said it was introducing “short-time work” as of 1 May in several production-related and administrative units in Germany and at its German polysilicon production plants.
The German group will take similar measures in our other business divisions, “on short notice” if order intake declines.