Wacker expects profits to be hit by falling polysilicon prices

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From pv magazine Germany.

Wacker Chemie AG said it expects revenues to grow at a mid-single-digit rate due to higher volumes of polysilicon and chemicals this year, after sales of €4.98 billion last year.

However, presenting its 2019 forecast yesterday, the Wacker board said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be 10-20% lower this year, due mainly to the lower average prices for polysilicon that are expected.

Wacker expects positive net cashflow for 2019 above the €125 million seen in 2018, and added insurance benefits from an explosion at its U.S. plant in Charleston in 2017 were not included in the forecast. On March 19, Wacker Chemie will present its annual report for 2018.

The company released preliminary 2018 figures in January which showed a turnover figure of €4.98 billion, an increase of 1% on 2017. EBIDTA, however, fell 8% to €930 million.

Wacker yesterday added: “In addition to the not yet received insurance benefits from the damage in Charleston, market weakness in the solar business and higher commodity prices have also significantly curbed earnings.”

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the preliminary figures for 2018 also fell 8% year-on-year, to €390 million.