We expect a significant economic downturn in 2009. Global GDP is anticipated to rise by less than 1%. Despite this figure, it is currently very difficult to estimate the effects of the financial crisis on the real economy, since various scenarios could occur. In light of this, no reliable and quantifiable forecast is possible for 2009 at this time. We will discuss 2009 more specifically and to the extent possible as part of our quarterly reporting. WACKER already decided on a catalog of measures in Q4 2008 to counter and thus limit the downturn’s impact. Measures include budget cuts, short-time work, hiring restraints, modified investment planning and secure operational financing. We also anticipate positive effects from lower-than-expected raw material and energy costs compared to 2007.
WACKER Already Decided on Measures in Q4 2008 to Counter Economic Downturn
We assume that our silicon-wafer business will have a particularly difficult time in fiscal 2009. Currently, no reliable forecast is possible for WACKER SILICONES and WACKER POLYMERS. Despite the difficult economic environment, we see growth potential in 2009 at WACKER POLYSILICON and WACKER FINE CHEMICALS, which will profit from the expansion of plants and product lines. From today’s vantage point, we expect 2009 consolidated sales to drop.
For 2010, we anticipate that the global economy will grow again and that the recession will essentially end. If this should be the case, WACKER will return to its long-term growth course and increase sales and earnings.