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Wacker Group Q1 FY'13 sales rise 6%
06
May '13
After last year’s weak fourth quarter, Wacker Chemie AG is experiencing noticeably higher customer demand. WACKER posted higher volumes in Q1 2013, especially in polysilicon, but in many chemical products as well. Sales and earnings were both markedly higher than in Q4 2012.

As already expected, however, the Munich-based chemical company did not match the prior-year quarter’s figures. WACKER posted sales of €1,076.3 million between January and March 2013 – down about 10 percent from a year ago (€1,194.3 million). The low price levels for solar silicon and semiconductor wafers were the principal reason why sales did not reach the Q1 2012 figure. Compared with the previous quarter (€1,017.2 million), however, sales were up 6 percent.

Highlights:
- Group sales for q1 2013 come in at €1.08 billion, 6 percent above q4 2012 and 10 percent below the prior-year period
- First-quarter ebitda reaches €165 million, 23 percent higher than in the preceding quarter, but 23 percent down on a year ago due to price declines
- Net income for q1 2013 amounts to €5 million
- Chemical-business sales almost at the prior-year level, ebitda 5 percent higher than a year earlier
- Polysilicon business posts markedly lower sales and earnings
- Full-year 2013 forecast unchanged: group sales expected at last year’s level, ebitda anticipated to decline year on year due to lower prices for polysilicon and semiconductor wafers

In the quarter under review, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to €164.5 million, down almost 23 percent from a year ago (€213.3 million), but up 23 percent on Q4 2012 (€133.9 million). The EBITDA margin for the quarter came in at 15.3 percent, compared with 17.9 percent in Q1 2012 and 13.2 percent in Q4 2012.

The Group’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to €32.2 million in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2012: €83.9 million), thereby yielding an EBIT margin of 3.0 percent (Q1 2012: 7.0 percent). Net income for the quarter under review was €5.1 million (Q1 2012: €41.8 million) and earnings per share amounted to €0.08 (Q1 2012: €0.87).

WACKER’s earnings trend from January through March was once again shaped by the low price level for polysilicon. Solar-silicon prices in the first three months of 2013 were substantially below their prior-year levels. For silicon wafers, average prices were 7 percent below Q1 2012.

In contrast, the three chemical divisions’ combined EBITDA was up over 5 percent year on year. Positive factors here included higher volumes for silicone products and dispersible polymer powders.

First-quarter EBITDA included €32.2 million (Q1 2012: €36.6 million) in retained advance payments and damages for terminated contracts with polysilicon customers. Savings in material and personnel expenses also improved the quarter’s EBITDA.

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