EANS-News: WACKER’s Business Picks Up Noticeably in Q1 2012

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quarterly report

Subtitle: – Group sales reach about €1.19 billion in Q1 2012, down
close to 8 percent from Q1 2011, but 18 percent above Q4 2011 – Price
declines reduce first-quarter EBITDA by 40 percent to €212 million,
with EBITDA almost double Q4 2011 results – Net income for Q1 2012
amounts to €40 million – Investments of €186 million focus on
strategic growth projects – Forecast unchanged: Full-year 2012 sales
to reach about €5 billion, EBITDA expected substantially below
prior-year level

Munich (euro adhoc) – May 4, 2012 – After last year’s weak fourth
quarter, Wacker Chemie AG recorded higher volumes amid rising demand
in the first quarter of 2012. The Munich-based chemical company’s
sales and earnings both showed a marked improvement over Q4 2011. The
very strong figures for the prior-year’s first quarter could not be
matched, however. The Group generated first-quarter sales of
EUR1,194.3 million, down 8 percent from Q1 2011 (EUR1,291.7 million),
but up 18 percent on Q4 2011 (EUR1,011.6 million). Sales at the Group
were driven mainly by higher volumes in the quarter under review. In
contrast, significantly lower prices held back sales, particularly in
the solar-silicon business, but also in the area of semiconductor
wafers. Changes in exchange rates were only of minor importance.

Lower solar-silicon margins and non-recurring effects impacted
WACKER’s profitability in the first quarter of 2012. The Group
generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization (EBITDA) of EUR211.8 million in the period under review
– down 40 percent from a year ago (EUR351.0 million). Compared with
Q4 2011 (EUR110.8 million), however, the Group almost doubled its
EBITDA. The EBITDA margin in the period reached 17.7 percent (Q1
2011: 27.2 percent). The Group’s first-quarter earnings before
interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR82.4 million (Q1 2011:
EUR245.9 million), which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 6.9 percent
(Q1 2011: 19.0 percent). In the fourth quarter of 2011, EBIT had been
EUR-55.0 million. Net income for the period was EUR40.0 million (Q1
2011: EUR168.0 million), which represents earnings per share of
EUR0.84 (Q1 2011: EUR3.39).

Aside from the effect of lower prices on revenues, the continued high
cost of raw materials and energy was also a key factor holding back
earnings in the quarter. At Siltronic, non-recurring expenses
relating primarily to the announced closure of the 150 mm wafer
production line at Portland reduced EBITDA by some EUR15 million.
Furthermore, higher depreciation resulting from additions to
noncurrent assets also had a part in reducing both EBIT and net
income for the period. The new polysilicon plant at Nünchritz was one
of the contributing factors here. During the quarter, WACKER
POLYSILICON received around EUR37 million in advance payments and
damages from polysilicon customers exiting the solar business. This
had a positive effect on earnings.

For full-year 2012, WACKER’s forecast for Group sales remains
unchanged at approximately EUR5 billion. EBITDA for fiscal 2012 is
expected to be well below the previous year’s figure of EUR1.1

„In view of the general situation, WACKER saw a good start into
fiscal 2012,“ said CEO Rudolf Staudigl on Friday in Munich.
„Encouragingly, customer demand gained appreciable momentum in many
business segments during the first quarter of 2012. Although the
general economic environment remains challenging, especially in the
first half of the year, it seems that the downward trend has now come
to an end – a reassuring signal for the months ahead.“

Regions In the period under review, WACKER’s business performance
varied across individual regions. One of the major reasons for this
divergence is the strong solar-industry shift toward Asia, where the
Group increased sales by 3 percent. With first-quarter sales of
EUR487.1 million (Q1 2011: EUR471.9 million), Asia is WACKER’s
largest sales market.

Europe showed a significantly weaker business performance. Along with
declining solar-sector sales, cautious customer ordering patterns
also left their mark. In Germany, first-quarter sales were EUR184.6
million in 2012 – down 25 percent from a year ago (EUR247.2 million).
Sales in the rest of Europe also contracted. At EUR276.3 million,
they dropped over 11 percent against the prior-year period (EUR311.9

In the Americas, WACKER’s chemical business grew during the quarter
under review. However, semiconductor-wafer and polysilicon sales
there posted declines. Total sales for the region from January
through March 2012 amounted to EUR207.3 million – a drop of 6 percent
from a year earlier (EUR220.5 million). In the markets combined under
„Other regions,“ first-quarter sales totaled EUR39.0 million (Q1
2011: EUR40.2 million). Overall, WACKER generated about 84 percent of
its first-quarter sales with customers outside Germany (Q1 2011: 81

Investments and Net Cash Flow WACKER invested a total of EUR186.1
million in January through March 2012 (Q1 2011: EUR136.6 million).
Almost three-quarters of this amount related to the ongoing expansion
of polysilicon production capacity, particularly the construction of
the new Charleston site in the US state of Tennessee. Two expansion
projects are underway at the produc¬tion site in Nanjing (China). A
new reactor with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons is being
added to the site’s existing production facilities for vinyl
acetate-ethylene copolymer dispersions. Moreover, a new plant is
being built there for polyvinyl acetate solid resins, with an annual
capacity of 20,000 metric tons. WACKER is investing a total of about
EUR40 million in the two new facilities.

The Group’s net cash flow for January through March 2012 was EUR-41.5
million, compared with EUR97.5 million a year ago. The decline was
due to lower first-quarter net income and to the high level of
investment spending. Additionally, starting fiscal 2012, WACKER no
longer reports advance payments for polysilicon deliveries within net
cash flow. The Group has thus adapted its presentation of net cash
flow to the method used by financial analysts, who consider these
payments to be a form of financing. Applying this method to Q1 2011,
WACKER would have had net cash flow of EUR97.5 million back then
instead of the EUR286.3 million actually reported for that prior-year

Employees Employee numbers at WACKER are changing as production
capacity is transferred or shut down, and new production facilities
and sites are constructed. On March 31, 2012, WACKER had 17,166
employees (Dec. 31, 2011: 17,168) worldwide, up by over 3 percent
compared with the end of Q1 2011. There was no change in the Group’s
total workforce compared with year-end 2011. As of March 31, 2012,
WACKER had 12,847 employees in Germany (Dec. 31, 2011: 12,813) and
4,319 at its international sites (Dec. 31, 2011: 4,355).

Business Divisions WACKER SILICONES generated total sales of EUR401.0
million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with EUR410.5 million
a year earlier. Thus, the division did not quite match (-2 percent)
the prior-year quarter’s very high level. This was mainly due to a
slight drop in year-on-year volumes in Europe and to lower prices.
Compared with the pre¬vious quarter (EUR357.0 million), however,
sales rose 12 percent. WACKER SILICONES‘ EBITDA for January through
March 2012 mainly reflected the influence of two factors when
compared with Q1 2011. Pricing for the division’s products was
weaker, and fixed-cost coverage was not quite as high as in Q1 2011,
due to slightly lower capacity utilization than in the prior-year
period. At EUR49.4 million, EBITDA for Q1 2012 was down 34 percent
from the prior-year figure (EUR75.1 million), but many times higher
than in the previous quarter (EUR5.7 million). The EBITDA margin in
the period under review reached 12.3 percent (Q1 2011: 18.3 percent).

In Q1 2012, WACKER POLYMERS benefited from a robust market
environment and continuing high customer demand, especially for
dispersions. Total sales climbed 14 percent to EUR233.8 million,
compared with EUR205.4 million in Q1 2011. Influenced by seasonal
effects, sales were almost 9 percent up on the preceding quarter
(EUR215.1 million). Sales growth was driven by both higher volumes
and better prices. These two factors – coupled with the high
fixed-cost coverage achieved through well-utilized plant capacity –
have also helped lift WACKER POLYMERS‘ profitability. The division
improved its EBITDA to EUR34.1 million in the three months from
January through March 2012 – a rise of around 31 percent on the
prior-year period (EUR26.0 million). The first-quarter EBITDA margin
climbed to 14.6 percent (Q1 2011: 12.7 percent).

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS‘ first-quarter sales totaled EUR41.2 million (Q1
2011: EUR37.7 million). Every product group contributed to this
9-percent increase. Sales rose 22 percent compared with Q4 2011
(EUR33.7 million). WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS also improved its EBITDA,
which climbed to EUR7.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 (Q1
2011: EUR5.2 million). The corresponding EBITDA margin was 19.2
percent (Q1 2011: 13.8 percent).

WACKER POLYSILICON posted total sales of EUR366.6 million in Q1 2012,
as against EUR414.4 million in Q1 2011 – a year-on-year decrease of
almost 12 percent. However, the selling prices of hyperpure
polysilicon fell much more considerably during the same period. The
division has been supplying its contract customers with additional
quantities. In this way, it has compensated somewhat for the
price-driven decline by pushing up volumes. WACKER POLYSILICON sold
almost 50 percent more hyperpure polysilicon in Q1 2012 than in the
corresponding prior-year period. Compared with Q4 2011 (EUR255.9
million), sales were up 43 percent in the quarter under review.
WACKER POLYSILICON is currently running all its production facilities
at full capacity in order to meet its customers‘ demand for
polysilicon. The price decline in polysilicon for the solar industry,
which takes around 90 percent of WACKER POLYSILICON’s volume, has had
a major impact on the division’s profitability. First-quarter EBITDA
reached EUR150.1 million (Q1 2011: EUR214.7 million), down some 30
percent year on year. Measured against Q4 2011 (EUR165.0 million),
EBITDA was down by 9 percent. The EBITDA margin for WACKER
POLYSILICON reached 40.9 percent in the quarter under review (Q1
2011: 51.8 percent). It is important to remember that the figures
both for the quarter under review and for the final quarter of 2011
include special income from advance payments and damages from
customers withdrawing from the solar business. These effects amounted
to around EUR37 million in the first quarter of 2012, and to some
EUR66 million in Q4 2011. Siltronic achieved total sales of EUR201.1
million in Q1 2012, down 28 percent from the prior-year quarter’s
EUR280.2 million. This drop was mainly due to the lower volumes sold,
although weaker prices also played a role. Compared with Q4 2011
(EUR179.7 million), however, sales were up by approximately 12

Siltronic’s first-quarter EBITDA came in at EUR-25.7 million (Q1
2011: EUR36.8 million). This fall of almost EUR63 million mainly
stemmed from the weaker market prices for silicon wafers and the
poorer fixed-cost coverage due to lower year-on-year production
capacity utilization. Non-recurring expenses – incurred mainly in
connection with the announced closure of Portland’s 150 millimeter
wafer line – reduced EBITDA by around EUR15 million. The EBITDA
margin for the quarter under review was -12.8 percent, compared with
13.1 percent in Q1 2011 and -32.6 percent in Q4 2011.

Outlook The global economy appears to have overcome the weak phase of
the second half of 2011. Initial signs of a recovery emerged since
the start of 2012, and economists believe the trend will gain
momentum in the second half of the year, even if marked regional
differences are likely. However, the risks stemming essentially from
Europe’s financial and sovereign-debt crisis have not gone away.

From today’s perspective, the photovoltaic market will grow further
this year. WACKER expects that newly installed photovoltaic capacity
will reach between 30 and 35 gigawatts. Volumes and plant utilization
will thus remain high, but prices for solar silicon will not reach
last year’s levels. For semiconductors, the Group anticipates that
customer demand will rise over the next few months. In the chemical
divisions, WACKER expects sales to grow during the current fiscal
year as a result of higher volumes.

For 2012 as a whole, the Group targets sales of around EUR5 billion.
Full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization are expected to be well below the prior-year level,
mainly due to the lower prices obtained from photovoltaic customers
for polysilicon deliveries.

Note to editors: The Q1 2012 report is available for download on the
WACKER website (www.wacker.com) under Investor Relations.

Key Figures of the WACKER Group

|EUR million |Q1 2012 |Q1 2011 |Change |
| | | |in % |
|Sales |1,194.3 |1,291.7 |-7.5 |
|EBITDA1 |211.8 |351.0 |-39.7 |
|EBITDA margin2 (%) |17.7 |27.2 |- |
|EBIT3 |82.4 |245.9 |-66.5 |
|EBIT margin2 (%) |6.9 |19.0 |- |
| | | | |
|Financial result |-13.7 |-7.9 |73.4 |
|Income before taxes |68.7 |238.0 |-71.1 |
|Net income for the period |40.0 |168.0 |-76.2 |
| | | | |
|Earnings per share (EUR) |0.84 |3.39 |-75.2 |
| | | | |
|Investments (incl. |186.1 |136.6 |36.2 |
|financial assets) | | | |
|Net cash flow4 |-41.5 |97.5 |n.a. |
|  |  |  | |
|EUR million |March 31, |March 31,|December |
| |2012 |2011 |31, 2011 |
| | | | |
|Equity |2,668.0 |2,617.9 |2,629.7 |
|Financial liabilities |1,097.3 |541.9 |777.9 |
|Net financial |19.1 |559.5 |95.7 |
|receivables/liabilities5 | | | |
|Total assets |6,596.8 |5,932.9 |6,237.0 |
| | | | |
|Employees (number at end of|17,166 |16,602 |17,168 |
|period) | | | |
| | | | |

1 EBITDA is EBIT before depreciation and amortization
2 Margins are calculated based on sales
3 EBIT is the result from continuing operations for the period before interest
and other financial results, and income taxes
4 Sum of cash flow from operating activities (excluding changes in advance
payments received from polysilicon contracts) and cash flow from noncurrent
investment activities (before securities), including additions due to finance
5 Sum of cash and cash equivalents, noncurrent and current securities, and
noncurrent and current financial liabilities

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.

Further inquiry note:
Christof Bachmair
Media Relations & Information
Tel.: +49 (0)89 6279 1830
E-Mail: christof.bachmair@wacker.com

end of announcement euro adhoc

company: Wacker Chemie AG
Hanns-Seidel-Platz 4
D-81737 München
phone: +49 (0) 89 6279 01
FAX: +49 (0) 89 6279 1770
mail: info@wacker.com
WWW: http://www.wacker.com
sector: Chemicals
ISIN: DE000WCH8881
indexes: MDAX, CDAX, Prime All Share
stockmarkets: free trade: Hannover, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart,
regulated dealing: Berlin, regulated dealing/prime standard:
language: English

Quelle: http://www.presseportal.de/pm/9155/2246356/eans-news-wacker-s-business-picks-up-noticeably-in-q1-2012/api