Wacker earnings forecast for 2014 revised upwards

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Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG – a leading polysilicon producer for the solar PV industry – has upgraded its annual earnings forecast for 2014 on the back of good business performance, strong demand and an estimated €90 million ($121 million) windfall from damages and retained advanced payments.

The Munich-based company announced in a statement issued this week that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are likely to be one-third higher than 2013’s figure of €678.7 million ($913 million) having initially expected an improvement of around 10%.

Wacker Chemie’s polysilicon sector has performed strongly so far in 2014, said the company, helping the group achieve good business performance while also enabling lower costs.

"We further expect additional special income from our polysilicon activities in Q3 2014," Christof Bachmair, Wacker’s senior manager for media relations, told pv magazine. "In terminating or restructuring contracts with some solar-sector customers, Wacker’s financial statements for Q3 will recognize special income from retained advance payments and damages received that will increase EBITDA and EBIT at both Wacker Polysilicon and within the group by some €90 million."

In Q1 2014, Wacker posted a similar special-income item amounting to €114 million as the company relieved itself of solar contracts to which it had previously committed advanced payments.

The suppression of global polysilicon prices had little impact on Wacker’s bottom line, and the company’s cost reduction successes were spread throughout the group, revealed Bachmair. "The cost reduction statement essentially refers to Wacker executing the productivity and cost roadmaps that we have had in place for several years, aiming at, for instance, to continuously reduce our specific energy consumption," he said.

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