Wacker Chemie AG recently announced that it finished the first quarter of 2022 with new highs in sales and earnings, generating sales of almost €2.1 billion (approximately $2.2 billion) in the reporting quarter. This represents a 53% increase compared to the same period last year (23% compared to the preceding quarter), with higher prices and positive product mix effects as the main growth drivers. Exchange-rate effects stemming from a stronger U.S. dollar year over year also increased sales somewhat.
Wacker has raised its sales forecast for full-year 2022. Despite the significant risks to the global economy—due in particular to the impact of the war in Ukraine but also to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—the company expects to continue on its growth trajectory in 2022. The company now forecasts group sales to come in at around €7.5 billion (~ $7.9 billion) for the year.
“Despite the considerable amount of uncertainty and pressure facing the global economy, WACKER continued to operate very successfully in the first quarter of 2022,” said CEO Christian Hartel. “Our growth strategy—which focuses firmly on specialty chemical products with high value-add for our customers, on highest-quality polysilicon for semiconductors and solar applications, and on the active expansion of our biotechnology activities—contributes substantially to strengthening WACKER’s resilience and ensuring that it remains robust in the face of current macroeconomic challenges. After a very good start this year, we expect that full-year EBITDA will likely trend toward the upper end of the projected range.”
According to Hartel, however, the company expects strong headwinds throughout the remainder of the year due to sharp increases in energy and raw material prices. “In the silicones and polysilicon segments in particular, we still benefited at the beginning of the year from raw materials and energy we procured last year at relatively favorable prices,” he said.
Wacker’s sales grew strongly in every region in the 2022 first quarter. The biggest increase was in Asia, with revenues rising to €887 million (~ $932.6 million), up 65% over the same period last year. In the Americas, group sales increased 50% in the reporting quarter to €305 million (~ $320.7 million). Sales in Europe totaled €790 million (~ $830.6 million), representing an increase of 45%.
“We want to accelerate our growth in the years ahead and are taking proactive steps in this direction,” Hartel said. “We aim to achieve sales of over €10 billion [~ $10.5 billion] by 2030, with an EBITDA margin of more than 20 percent. Amid strong customer demand, we are now entering a growth phase, where we will focus on organic growth, but also invest in acquisitions. We have set ourselves ambitious goals: we want to double sales growth—which is driven by higher volumes and a better product mix—while maintaining our high profitability.”
Sustainability would play a decisive role in this, according to Hartel. Demand was constantly growing for sustainable products, which already comprised more than two-thirds of the portfolio and are expected to become an even stronger driver of group sales and earnings in the coming years.
Additional details are available at www.wacker.com.