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EANS-News: WACKER Remains on Growth Course After a Record Year in 2010
- Strong start in Q1 2011 with higher sales volumes and revenues - Consolidated sales of over Â€5 billion expected for full-year 2011 - EBITDA for 2011 should reach prior-year level despite significantly higher raw-material costs and polysilicon-expansion ramp-up costs - Following record figures in 2010, WACKER intends to raise dividend to Â€3.20
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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet
Subtitle: - Strong start in Q1 2011 with higher sales volumes and revenues - Consolidated sales of over Â€5 billion expected for full-year 2011 - EBITDA for 2011 should reach prior-year level despite significantly higher raw-material costs and polysilicon-expansion ramp-up costs - Following record figures in 2010, WACKER intends to raise dividend to Â€3.20
Munich (euro adhoc) - March 16, 2011 - Wacker Chemie AG expects further sales-revenue and sales-volume gains for 2011. As the Munich chemical company announced today, the upward trend at WACKERÂ´s business segments continued in Q1 2011. Thanks to strong customer demand across all sectors and regions, the company ended 2010 with new sales and earnings records. Consolidated sales rose 28 percent to EUR4.75 billion (2009: EUR3.72 billion). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) nearly doubled to EUR1.19 billion (2009: EUR607 million). Net income increased to EUR497 million last year. In 2009, WACKER had posted a loss of EUR74.5 million, due to a number factors, including provisions and fixed-asset impairments.
In the first two months of 2011, every division reported high and sustained sales volumes. Consolidated sales in January and February 2011 were clearly up year on year. Should this trend continue throughout the year, WACKER anticipates that 2011Â´s consolidated sales will cross the EUR5 billion mark. According to current plans, EBITDA is expected to reach the high level of 2010 despite significantly rising raw-material costs and ramp costs for polysilicon capacity expansion.
"We have entered 2011 with confidence and from a position of strength," said CEO Rudolf Staudigl on Wednesday in Munich. "The Group is in excellent financial shape and our long-term investment strategy has established a solid basis in the worldÂ´s growth regions over the last few years - above all in Asia. Customer demand for our products remains strong at all divisions. This means 2011 is going to be another very successful year for WACKER."
Capital Expenditures The GroupÂ´s investments stayed at a high level in 2010. Asset additions reached EUR695 million (2009: EUR740 million). Funds were primarily earmarked for hyperpure polysilicon capacity expansion and for additional plants to manufacture silicones in China.
At Burghausen, WACKER started up its polysilicon "Expansion Stage 8," reaching the planned nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year in Q2 2010. Construction of polysilicon facilities at NĂĽnchritz - also with a capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year - progressed very well in 2010. Currently, the buildings are being fitted with production equipment. Commissioning is scheduled to commence before the end of this year.
In November 2010, WACKER and its partner Dow Corning officially launched siloxane production in Zhangjiagang, China. This production complex rounds out the worldÂ´s largest integrated site for silicones. The launch not only marks the completion of WACKERÂ´s key investment project in the dynamic Chinese market, but it also prepares the ground for continued silicone business expansion there.
WACKER took an important step toward securing its raw-material base by purchasing a silicon-metal plant in Holla, Norway, last year. The Munich-based chemical company acquired this site from the FESIL Group for EUR66.5 million in mid-2010. HollaÂ´s production capacity totals around 50,000 metric tons of silicon metal per year. As a result, WACKER now covers almost a third of its annual silicon-metal needs through captive production.
Employees As per year-end 2010, WACKER had 16,314 employees worldwide (2009: 15,618) - up 696 year over year. The rise is due to strong customer demand and high capacity-utilization rates. Another factor enlarging the workforce was its acquisition of the Holla silicon-metal plant and of a silicone site at Jincheon, South Korea. At year-end, WACKERÂ´s German sites had 12,235 employees (2009: 11,925) and its international sites 4,079 (2009: 3,693).
Net Cash Flow, Net Financial Liabilities and Equity Ratio In 2010, net cash flow grew to EUR422 million (2009: EUR-33 million). This increase is the result of strong operational business and high prepayments from customers for future polysilicon deliveries. In terms of net financial liabilities (the balance of liquidity and financial liabilities), WACKER posted a surplus of EUR264 million as per December 31, 2010. A year earlier, the Group had net financial liabilities of EUR76 million. As per year-end 2010, WACKERÂ´s total assets were significantly higher at EUR5.5 billion (2009: EUR4.54 billion) than a year ago. This 21-percent rise was caused by asset additions, by higher inventories and trade receivables stemming from stronger business volumes, and by exchange-rate effects. On the balance-sheet date, equity amounted to EUR2.45 billion (2009: EUR1.94 billion), resulting in an equity ratio of 44.5 percent (2009: 42.8 percent).
Business Divisions Last year, Siltronic posted a strong increase in total sales, which climbed 61 percent to EUR1.02 billion (2009: EUR637.5 million). This was the result of strong demand for electronic products and equipment from industry and consumers. Demand for silicon wafers was significantly higher year over year for all diameters. Higher volumes and prices, lower specific production costs and favorable exchange-rate effects contributed to markedly improved EBITDA of EUR88 million (2009: EUR-162 million).
WACKER SILICONES ended 2010 with a new sales record, posting total sales of EUR1.58 billion (2009: EUR1.24 billion), up 28 percent. This gain was fueled by strong demand across every sector. Demand even remained at a high level during the usually somewhat weaker summer months. At EUR230 million (2009: EUR158 million), EBITDA grew even more than sales, up 46 percent compared to a year earlier. WACKER SILICONESÂ´ EBITDA benefited particularly from higher volumes, low specific production costs, and favorable exchange-rate effects. Higher prices for raw materials, such as methanol and platinum, slowed earnings growth. Moreover, Q4 saw a negative impact on EBITDA due to a provision totaling EUR52 million for expected losses from the GroupÂ´s silicone business in China. The provision is related to higher transfer prices for siloxane from WACKERÂ´s joint venture with Dow Corning.
WACKER POLYMERSÂ´ total sales also rose last year - primarily thanks to higher sales volumes for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders. Up 9 percent, sales reached EUR810 million (2009: EUR744 million). EBITDA increased 5 percent to EUR123 million (2009: EUR117 million). Greater sales volumes and higher prices for the divisionÂ´s products did not fully compensate for far higher ethylene costs (a key raw material), thereby slowing the upward EBITDA trend.
In 2010, WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS increased total sales by 36 percent to EUR142 million (2009: EUR105 million). This growth was driven by strong demand in all product segments and by the first-time inclusion of gumbase operations over an entire fiscal year. In 2009, the divisionÂ´s sales figures had only included this business during the second half of the year. EBITDA grew even more than sales, soaring 152 percent to EUR25 million (2009: EUR10 million). Initial full consolidation of gumbase business also benefited EBITDA throughout 2010.
WACKER POLYSILICON grew substantially again in 2010 - with total sales climbing 22 percent to EUR1.37 billion (2009: EUR1.12 billion). The increase was fueled by strong and sustained customer demand for hyperpure polysilicon from the solar and semiconductor industries and by new production volumes from BurghausenÂ´s "Expansion Stage 8." Moreover, the division was able to boost productivity, enabling its existing facilities to generate additional quantities. Total production capacity rose from an annual 18,100 metric tons to 30,500 year over year. EBITDA grew even more strongly than sales, climbing 41 percent to EUR733 million (2009: EUR521 million). The healthy earnings trend was due to a decline in specific production costs relative to the higher quantities.
Proposal on Appropriation of Profits In accordance with German Commercial Code accounting rules, Wacker Chemie AG posted a retained profit of EUR775.3 million in 2010. Due to the companyÂ´s good earnings and financial situation, the Executive and Supervisory Boards will propose a dividend of EUR3.20 (2009: EUR1.20) per share at the Annual ShareholdersÂ´ Meeting. Based on the number of shares entitled to participate in dividends as per December 31, 2010, the cash dividend corresponds to a payout of EUR159 million. This represents about one third of net income.
Outlook According to economic experts, the global upturn will continue during the current year. Growth rates are, however, expected to be lower than in 2010. Momentum will be strongest in Asia. The large economies of China and India will grow particularly strongly. Moreover, GDP in every other region is expected to be above prior-year levels.
The robust recovery is leading to rising raw-material costs. In January and February 2011, the prices for WACKERÂ´s key raw materials - silicon, ethylene and methanol - significantly exceeded the prior-year average. The company anticipates further raw-material price increases in the coming months. Compensating for these price rises will be one of the main challenges this year.
WACKER will bring new production capacity on stream and make additional investments to meet rising customer demand. In total, the company plans to invest around EUR950 million during the current year - with its polysilicon business as the main focus here.
In the second half of the year, WACKER POLYSILICON will start up production at its "Expansion Stage 9" facility in NĂĽnchritz. The facility has a nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year. Also this year, construction will start on polysilicon production facilities at the new Cleveland site in the US State of Tennessee. The production complex will have an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons and is to be completed by the end of 2013. The investment volume for this large-scale project will total some EUR1.1 billion. Furthermore, WACKER is expanding its polysilicon production in Burghausen and NĂĽnchritz by implementing debottlenecking measures within its integrated production network. As a result, annual volumes will increase at each site by 5,000 metric tons, with the first additional quantities becoming available in 2012. This expansion, which involves investments totaling some EUR130 million, will increase WACKERÂ´s total hyperpure-polysilicon capacity from over 30,000 metric tons annually now to 67,000 by 2014.
WACKER also expects further growth at its chemical divisions during 2011. Its silicone and polymer businesses will benefit strongly from accelerating demand in emerging economies, thereby generating higher sales this year. Greater prosperity in countries like Brazil, China and India, coupled with increasing urbanization and infrastructure developments are fueling sales volumes for silicones, dispersible polymer powders and dispersions. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS is also anticipating higher sales this year. Key growth drivers here include its gumbase business. WACKER is a global market leader in this segment.
For its semiconductor business, the Group expects silicon-wafer demand to rise during 2011 - especially in the 300 millimeter segment. New devices, such as tablet PCs and smartphones, and the growth of image and video applications are fueling demand for memory chips and high-performance processors. At Siltronic, this trend should raise plant-utilization levels and, possibly, push up silicon-wafer prices, too. For 2011, WACKER expects that Siltronic will be able to post higher sales and earnings. To meet market growth in Asia, further expansion of 300 mm wafer capacity at the Siltronic Samsung Wafer joint venture in Singapore is planned.
Overall, WACKER anticipates that sales will cross the EUR5 billion mark in 2011 for the first time ever, with every business division contriÂ¬buting to this success. Higher raw-material prices and polysilicon-production start-up costs at NĂĽnchritz will have an effect the earnings trend. Nevertheless, WACKER expects that EBITDA will reach 2010Â´s high level once again.
Please find WACKER's Key Figures under: http://www.wacker.com/cms/en/ investor-relations/berichte/reports2010/results2010/results2010.jsp
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions and estimates of WACKERÂ´s Executive Board. Although we assume the expectations in these forwardÂlooking 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 forwardÂlooking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do so.
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