Wacker reports higher sales for 2018
The company increased its sales slightly for full-year 2018, as projected. According to preliminary figures, they posted total sales of €4.98 billion last year (2017: €4.92 billion). That was a rise of 1 %, which was mainly due to higher volumes and prices in chemicals. Silicones saw especially strong growth. As a result, the company more than compensated for year-over-year euro appreciation and the market-driven decline in polysilicon volumes and prices.
The group’s preliminary EBITDA for 2018 amounted to €930 million (2017: €1,014 million). That was 8 % less than the year before. The EBITDA trend was dampened not only by the insurance compensation still outstanding for the incident at Charleston and the solar market’s weakness, but also by significantly higher raw-material costs. EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) came in at €390 million, down 8 percent year-over-year (2017: €424 million). A positive factor for EBIT was the continuing decline in depreciation, to €540 million in 2018 (2017: €590 million).
“Our chemical business – which we are expanding through invest-ments – continued its very robust trend in the final quarter of 2018,” said CEO Rudolf Staudigl.
According to preliminary figures, the company´s capital expenditures in 2018 reached €460 million (2017: €327 million). That was 41 % more than the year before. Capital spending focused on capacity expansion at our chemical divisions. Net cash flow for 2018 totalled some €120 million (2017: €358 million). Cash inflows were thus clearly positive and substantially below the year-earlier figure, as projected. They decreased 66 percent. Net financial debt was somewhat above €600 million at year-end 2018 (Dec. 31, 2017: €454 million).
Silicone business sales growth by 14%
In 2018, the company benefited above all from the robust demand for its chemical products. The silicones business lifted its annual sales to €2.50 billion (2017: €2.20 billion), beating its year-earlier figure by 14 %. The polymers business posted sales of €1.28 billion for 2018 (2017: €1.25 billion). That was a gain of 3 percent. Sales at the biosolutions business climbed 10 % last year to €225 mil-lion (2017: €206 million).