WACKER’s investments have continually risen over the past four years. In 2008, they reached a new record of over €900 million (excluding the acquisition of all shares in the two partner companies that WACKER operated with US-based Air Products) and will remain high in 2009, too. Due to the difficult environment, they will not be quite as high as the prior year, and will reflect further economic developments. Depending on economic developments, however, we may reduce our investment budget. Most of the funds are earmarked for our strategic growth projects at WACKER POLYSILICON. Investments currently planned for 2010 will exceed depreciation.
Investments Remain High in 2009
For companies, financing conditions became much tougher during 2008 and corporate financing and liquidity management have faced great challenges. At WACKER, we strive to finance the company without outside help to the greatest possible extent. On the financing and assets front, the global banking and financial crisis has had no noticeable effect on us yet. The key task for 2009 will be to secure the company’s liquidity and to carefully man age cash flow.
As regards financing, we already extended a €300 million syndicated credit facility in 2008 by another year to 2013. We will review credit facilities set to expire in 2009 and 2010 in a timely manner to decide whether we need to extend their terms and replace them by building up further long-term credit lines. Moreover, we plan to build up further long-term credit lines soon. Despite the more difficult underlying conditions, WACKER’s long-term financing and our ambitious investment program should thus remain on a solid footing.