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WACKER posts double-digit sales growth in Q2
Aug '08
Wacker Chemie AG generated double-digit, year-on-year sales and earnings growth in Q2 2008. Consolidated sales for the quarter reached €1,123.0 million (Q2 2007: €959.0m) – a 17 percent gain. This dynamic growth was primarily fueled by volume increases, higher prices and the full consolidation of WACKER's former partnership company APP.

The weaker US dollar, in contrast, dampened growth by 7 percent. Sales for the full first half of 2008 reached €2,142.5 million, rising 13 percent compared to €1,902.7 million a year ago.

Earnings growth was even more pronounced – despite the fact that raw-material costs, energy costs and exchange-rate effects clearly exceeded prior-year's levels. In Q2 2008, WACKER posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €317.9 million, up 22 percent from the year-ago period (€260.8m).

As a result, the EBITDA margin grew to 28.3 percent (Q2 2007: 27.2 percent). For the full first half of 2008, EBITDA totaled €609.0 million compared to €526.3 million in last year's first half.

Once again, WACKER's main earnings drivers were polysilicon and semiconductors. WACKER POLYSILICON's EBITDA grew by €70.0 million, thus more than tripling prior-year's figure. At €112.0 million, Siltronic AG nearly matched last year's EBITDA (Q2 2007: €122.8m) and accounted for over a third of the Group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in Q2 2008. In contrast, the chemical divisions saw their earnings impacted by higher raw-material and energy costs. This meant they did not quite achieve their prior-year EBITDA levels.

The Group's Q2 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 26 percent to €224.9 million (Q2 2007: €178.2m). Net income climbed 18 percent year on year to €152.8 million (€130.0m). As a result, earnings per share amounted to €3.08 (Q2 2007: €2.62), up 18 percent. For the full first-half of 2008, WACKER generated an EBIT of €423.6 million (€366.1m). During the same period, consolidated net income rose to €283.4 million (€244.5m) and earnings per share reached €5.70 (€4.92).

The Munich-based chemical company confirmed its full-year 2008 forecast for higher sales and earnings. Consolidated sales should exceed the prior-year figure by clearly over 10 percent. EBITDA is expected to climb, too. All in all, WACKER is investing roughly €1 billion in pursuing its growth and expansion strategy during the current year.

“We've again managed to boost both sales and earnings despite the increasingly difficult economic environment,” said Group CEO Rudolf Staudigl in Munich. “Our success in the first six months was mainly driven by strategic investments in capacity expansion and, above all, vibrant solar-industry demand. With additional volumes and our market and cost leadership in many business fields, we consider ourselves well prepared to progress on our growth course even in a more difficult economic climate.

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Wacker Chemie AG

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