Germany’s Wacker experiences €500m toll in 2021 of high raw materials, energy costs

Jonathan Lopez


MADRID (ICIS)–Wacker Chemie’s earnings took a hit of €500m in 2021, compared with 2020, on the back of high raw material and energy costs, the German chemicals producer said on Wednesday.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of €1.5bn were more than double the 2020 figure, however.

Higher input costs for Wacker’s operations could not be offset by higher selling prices across all divisions, the company added.

Operating income, or earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), nearly quadrupled in 2021, year on year.

Investors received the annual results with enthusiasm and Wacker’s shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange were up by nearly 7% to €132/share in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

2021 2020 Change
Sales 6,200 4,692 32%
EBITDA 1,500 666 125%
Operating income (EBIT) 1,090 263 314%
Net income 780 202 286%

Wacker’s three divisions – Silicones, Polymers, and Biosolutions – all posted higher sales during 2021, year on year, with a marked recovery in the solar energy industry boosting Polysilicons markedly.

EBITDA for Polymers, however, fell by 6% due to the “substantial year-over-year rise in raw-material” prices. They were “almost” offset by higher selling volumes and prices.

EBITDA at Polymers came in at €255m in 2021, down from €271m the prior year.

In Silicones, EBITDA ended at €555m in 2021, up from €388m in 2020.

“In 2021, Wacker Polysilicon benefited from volume growth and, above all, from markedly higher prices for solar-grade polysilicon … The focus on high-quality polysilicon for semiconductor applications and further improvements in production costs also had a positive effect on the operating result.

The Munich-headquartered company only released preliminary annual results on Wednesday; it will publish audited 2021 and fourth-quarter results on 15 March 2022, when it will also issue an outlook for 2022.

On Wednesday, CEO Christian Hartel said the healthy demand conditions registered in 2021 were set to stay in 2022.

“Demand remains high as we enter 2022, underscoring the excellent growth prospects of our business portfolio,” said Hartel.

Front page picture: Polycrystalline silicon, used to produce solar cells and computer chips, among others
Picture source: Wacker Chemie


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