Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, President and CEO of Wacker Chemie, AG, Munich, greeted the International Press March 18, 2008, with news of continued growth. WACKER’s 2007 results were the best in its history. International business, accounting for over 80% of Group sales, was the main growth engine last year. Sales growth was particularly strong in Asia, especially in China. Asian economies showed solid gains, but GDP growth also continued in Europe and the United States. The main sales and earnings growth drivers were the semiconductor segment and the polysilicon business.
Despite higher raw material and energy costs, as well as substantial negative exchange-rate effects from the strong euro, the Munich-based chemical Group generated an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of €1.002 billion (2006: €786m). This is an increase of 27% compared to the prior-year period.
“The figures for last fiscal year are yet more proof of the Group’s operational strength,” said Peter-Alexander Wacker in Munich. “WACKER’s strategic alignment is on the right track. We made huge progress with our expansion projects last year to meet customers’ sustained strong demand. Our production capacity expansion projects and solid presence in Asian growth markets are key prerequisites to continue on our successful course in 2008.”
WACKER’s savvy management team continues to drive this company forward, making sound investment decisions for future growth. Total capital expenditures for 2007 grew 33%. In addition to ongoing expansion projects to boost production capacities, sizable funds flowed into joint ventures with Samsung Electronics and SCHOTT Solar.
WACKER POLYSILICON continued to expand its capacities for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon to meet soaring demand both from chipmakers and the booming photovoltaics industry. Two ongoing expansions are on schedule at the Burghausen plant and a new facility for granular silicon is under construction.
To enhance the photovoltaic supply chain, WACKER set up two joint ventures with SCHOTT to produce and market silicon wafers to the solar industry. At the Burghausen site, Siltronic has now doubled its monthly capacity for 300 mm silicon wafers, and in a joint venture with Samsung Electronics, Siltronic is building a 300-mm production line in Singapore.
WACKER SILICONES has also expanded, responding to huge demand for silicone at its site in Germany as well as in China. Joint construction of siloxane production in China with Dow Corning is on schedule with production to begin in 2010. Meanwhile, a pyrogenic silica production plant, in partnership with Dow Corning, has been completed.
WACKER POLYMERS continues to expand its current dispersible polymer powder capacities and is also building another facility in China. WACKER POLYMERS also completed the full ownership acquisition of the joint venture of Air Products Polymers and Wacker Polymer Systems in February 2008.
One cannot but admire this well-run company for its forward thinking and action plans. It obviously has good insight and the courage to act.
WACKER 2007: Net income was €422 million (2006: Є311m) – with earnings per share amounting to €8.49 (2006: €6.46). The Group’s robust financial performance is also reflected in its return on capital employed of 25% (2006: 18%). Fueled by continued strong customer demand, significantly boosted production quantities and higher prices, Group sales rose 13% to €3.78 billion (2006: Є3.34 bn) – of which €3.06 billion (2006: €2.68bn) was generated outside Germany. Thus International business accounted for 81% of Total Sales. In fiscal 2007, net cash flow more than tripled to €644 million (2006: 185m) despite significantly higher investments compared to the prior year. WACKER expects further growth in 2008. This year, sales are estimated to rise by well over 10% due to capacity expansion projects and sales growth resulting from the complete takeover of the Group’s polymer joint ventures with Air Products. EBITDA should also continue its upward trend.
Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, the current President and CEO, is leaving the Executive Board. At the Annual Shareholder Meeting on May 8, 2008, he will step down and stand as a candidate for the Supervisory Board that same day. His successor as President and CEO will be Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, who has been a member of the company’s Executive Board since 1995. Wacker Chemie AG announced this change at its helm in December 2007.
Dr. Wilhelm Sittenthaler is to join the Executive Board of Wacker Chemie AG. A resolution to this effect was passed by the Supervisory Board. Wilhelm Sittenthaler will become a member of WACKER’s Executive Board on May 8, 2008. His contract lasts until 2013. This appointment means that the Executive Board will continue to have four members. At the same meeting, the Supervisory Board extended Auguste Willems’ contract for another five years until 2013.
“With personnel changes to the Executive Board now complete,” explains Peter-Alexander Wacker, “we have ensured the continuity of WACKER’s leadership for the years ahead.” Wilhelm Sittenthaler has held various managerial positions at WACKER over the last 28 years. Since May 1, 2003, he has been President and CEO of Siltronic AG, a fully owned subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG. In his new position on WACKER’s Executive Board, he will remain President and CEO of Siltronic.