With third quarter (Q3) sales of 1.35 billion ($1.47 billion), German polysilicon producer Wacker Chemie AG has enjoyed a strong quarter.
Although Q3s sales figures were 1% and 3% lower year-over-year and sequentially, this contraction can largely be laid at the door of a global fall in the price of solar silicon, semiconductor wafers and some other chemical products in which the company deals.
Generally, Q3 was positive for the firm, with EBITDA of 304 million ($331 million) representing an annual increase of 14%, and pretty much matching Q2s performance. The groups EBITDA margin over the quarter was 22.4%, compared to 19.5% in Q3 2015 and up from 21.6% in Q2 of this year.
Wacker attributes the substantial year-over-year EBITDA increase to the good cost level evident in 2016.
Net income for the quarter stood at 67.5 million ($73.6 million), which was encouragingly higher than the 58.2 million posted in Q3 last year.
As a result of this steady progress for Wacker, its 2016 forecast remains unchanged, with a single-digit sales increase for the year still on the cards, allied to an EBITDA projected to be 5-10% higher than last year. A net cash flow of 229 million at the end of Q3 underpins this positivity, and is substantially higher than a year ago, the company confirmed.
"Although the underlying conditions were not always easy, Wacker performed well from July through September," said Wacker Chemie AG CEO Rudolf Staudigl, who remarked that the polysilicon division was more difficult than the companys chemical and Siltronic division, with "solar customers ordering substantially less material in September than in the preceding months. Since then, however, there have been increasing indications that demand for solar silicon is picking up again."