Wacker Chemie AG

STRONG DEMAND AND PRICING FOR SEMICONDUCTOR WAFERS LIFT WACKERÂ’S EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS

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Reflecting ongoing favorable trading conditions and further improved expectations regarding customer demand for semiconductor wafers for the second half of 2006, WACKER is raising its full-year sales and earnings forecast. The chemical company based in Munich (Germany) forecasts full-year sales to exceed 2005Â’s EUR2.76 billion by some 20 percent. Based on currently prevailing currency rates, WACKER expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of between EUR730 million and EUR750 million, which is about 30 percent higher than last yearÂ’s adjusted EBITDA of EUR567 million. Previously WACKER had forecasted a sales growth of larger than 10 percent and EBITDA of between EUR640 million and EUR680 million.

WACKER Group CFO Joachim Rauhut said, "What we see from our first analysis of preliminary second-quarter figures is that these are pretty much in line with our forecast given at our Q1 conference call. Group Sales and EBITDA for Q2 are expected to be reported at about 4 percent over Q1Â’2006. With better visibility for Siltronic we now are confident that we can actually exceed our previously announced full-year financial targets with improved performance during the second half of 2006." Besides stronger-than-expected sales and earnings growth in its wafer business, WACKER also sees higher silicones sales improving the forecast for second-half results.

In detail, WACKER expects a full-year increase in Siltronic sales of about 35 percent over fiscal year 2005 to about EUR1,250 million with an EBITDA margin of about 26 percent (last year 18 percent), driven by stronger pricing and volumes especially in the second half of the year. Results for the second quarter were strong as expected with sales of about EUR300 million and an EBITDA of approximately EUR73 million. Sales for the second half of 2006 are expected to increase over the first half by 13 percent with EBITDA margins growing due to firm pricing and volumes to about 28 percent on average over the second half. Demand for all wafers is developing stronger than WACKER had anticipated earlier, and wafer pricing is further improving.

For WACKER POLYSILICON, full-year sales are expected to grow by about 10 percent to EUR320 million mainly driven by yield improvements and an accelerated ramp-up of a 1,000 metric tons capacity addition in existing facilities. Sales and EBITDA in the second quarter were roughly EUR78 million and EUR23 million, respectively. With engineering costs for plant expansions and ramp-up costs weighing on the second quarter, full-year EBITDA margin for Polysilicon is expected to be in the mid thirties.

The Chemical segments as a whole are benefiting from positive effects from volume gains and product mix improvements which are nearly offsetting increasing raw material and energy costs. Taken together, WACKER POLYMERS, WACKER SILICONES and WACKER FINE CHEMICALS Q2 sales were approximately EUR503 million while EBITDA was about EUR99 million. Full-year combined sales are expected to grow by about 12 percent to EUR1,900 million with EBITDA margins slightly below 2005 levels at about 18 percent. Margins for the Chemical segments are expected to be lower in the second half due to seasonality, higher plant maintenance costs and increases in raw materials and energy costs.

WACKER Group CFO Joachim Rauhut said, "Overall the outlook for the company is improving. Sales in 2006 for the WACKER group are now expected to increase to about EUR3,300 million driven mainly by Siltronic and WACKER SILICONES. EBITDA is anticipated to rise by about 30 percent. The company is benefiting from strength in its key markets and from tight management of costs coupled with judicious expansion of core operations. The strong results underline the suc-cess of WACKERÂ’s long-term strategy of focusing on growth and margins."

It should be noted that indicated results for the second quarter are preliminary. WACKERÂ’s actual results for the quarter will be reported on August 21, 2006.

This press release contains forward looking statements based on assumptions and estimates of WACKER's Executive Board. Although we assume the expectations in these forward looking statements are realistic, we cannot guarantee they will prove to be correct. The assumptions may harbor risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual figures to differ considerably from the forward looking statements. Factors that may cause such discrepancies include, among other things, changes in the economic and business environment, variations in exchange and interest rates, the introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance for new products or services, and changes in corporate strategy. WACKER does not plan to update the forward looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do so.

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ots Originaltext: Wacker Chemie AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
Christof Bachmair
+49 (0)89 6279 1830
christof.bachmair@wacker.com

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      DE000WCH8881
WKN:        WCH888
Index:    CDAX, MDAX
Börsen:  Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / official dealing/prime standard
              Börse Berlin-Bremen / free trade
              Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Baden-WĂĽrttembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Börse DĂĽsseldorf / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade



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