WACKER Posts Sales of €3.7 Billion for 2009
* As Expected, Sales Are About 14 Percent Below Prior Year
* Ebitda Reaches Some €600 Million After Non-Recurring Charges
* Special Items Of Around €340 Million Result In Negative Net Income Of About €-80 Million
* Growth Project Investments Of Some €740 Million Almost Entirely Financed From Own Cashflow
* Q4 Figures Confirm The Recovery Trend Experienced Since April 2009
* Ceo Staudigl: “Far-Sighted Accounting Policy And High Investments Are Important Building Blocks For Wacker’s Future Success”
Munich, As expected, Wacker Chemie AG generated lower sales and earnings in 2009 compared to 2008, according to preliminary figures. The upturn in demand experienced since April 2009 continued through the fourth quarter, but did not offset the drop in sales caused by the global economic crisis. The Munich-based company posted consolidated sales of €3.7 billion in 2009, almost 14 percent below the previous year (2008: €4.3bn).
Preliminary earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached about €600 million, down €455 million or 43 percent from the previous year (2008: €1.055bn). Earnings were chiefly impacted by the extremely difficult business situation in the semiconductor division, where EBITDA fell about €520 million against 2008. Additionally, non-recurring charges reduced 2009’s EBITDA by a total of some €160 million. These charges were mainly due to exiting the WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture, to extraordinary pension-provision additions, to provisions for phased early-retirement schemes and working-life accounts, and to provisions for personnel measures at WACKER SILICONES and Siltronic.
On a preliminary basis, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) are estimated at around €20 million for 2009 (2008: €647.9m). In addition to the non-recurring charges already mentioned, EBIT includes impairments on fixed assets of almost €180 million at Siltronic and WACKER SILICONES. Totaling about €340 million, the special items will result in negative net income of some €-80 million for the full year (2008: €438.3m).
According to WACKER’s preliminary figures, capital expenditures amounted to about €740 million in 2009 (2008: €916.3m). Spending focused on the Group’s strategic growth projects, especially the ongoing production-capacity expansion for hyperpure polysilicon at Burghausen and Nünchritz. WACKER funded these investments almost entirely through cash flow from operating activities despite the economic crisis. WACKER’s net financial debt totaled about €80 million at year-end 2009.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, the upturn in demand seen since early Q2 continued. Consolidated sales for October through December 2009 amounted to €935 million (Q4 2008: €998.7m). This was 5 percent below Q3 2009 (€986.5m) due to the usual seasonal effects, especially in the construction sector. Compared to Q4 2008, sales at WACKER’s chemical divisions climbed almost 3 percent to about €520 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 (Q4 2008: €506.0m). In contrast, Siltronic’s fourth-quarter semiconductor sales declined to just over €180 million, about 40 percent down year on year (Q4 2008: €303.6m). Hyperpure polysilicon business remained robust. Sales at WACKER POLYSILICON rose 12 percent in Q4 2009 to almost €270 million (Q4 2008: €239.1m).
The WACKER Group’s fourth-quarter EBITDA was about €90 million (Q4 2008: €118.7m). EBITDA was chiefly impacted by an extraordinary addition to pension provisions of about €50 million, reflecting the higher average life expectancy of the Group’s pension-fund beneficiaries. On top of this, WACKER made provisions of some €45 million in Q4 2009 for phased early-retirement schemes, working-life accounts, and the Kempten plant closure, which has already been announced. WACKER’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also included additional impairments on fixed assets of about €55 million at Siltronic and WACKER SILICONES. This resulted in an EBIT loss of about €-60 million (Q4 2008: €-13.6m).
At WACKER’s divisions, results varied in Q4 2009. The chemical divisions generated a positive EBITDA margin in the mid single-digit range. In contrast, Siltronic’s fourth-quarter EBITDA margin remained in negative territory, roughly at the prior quarter’s level (Q3 2009: -12.4 percent). As for hyperpure polysilicon, earnings were very strong. WACKER POLYSILICON reported an EBITDA margin of almost 50 percent for Q4 2009 despite weakening prices.
“Although the global economic crisis has left its mark on our business figures, I think WACKER is on a sound course,” says CEO Rudolf Staudigl. “Our far-sighted accounting policy shown during the last year is an important building block to equip ourselves for the future. Despite posting a loss, we were able to finance our considerable investments in growth projects almost entirely from cash flow thanks to rigorous cash management. Our 2009 investment ratio reached 20 percent. For me, that’s clear proof of WACKER’s financial strength. If the present economic recovery continues, this will give WACKER a good chance of significantly increasing both consolidated sales and net income again in fiscal 2010.”
The Q4 and fiscal 2009 figures and trends contained in this press release are preliminary. Wacker Chemie AG will publish its Q4 Report and 2009 Annual Report on March 24, 2010.
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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