Financial-Position Trends: Assets
Current and Noncurrent Assets
Relative to the end of the previous year, noncurrent assets climbed by € 467.0 million to € 4.85 billion (Dec. 31, 2013: € 4.39 billion), up 11 percent. They accounted for 70 percent of total assets (Dec. 31, 2013: 69 percent). Compared with December 31, 2013, current assets rose from € 1.95 billion to € 2.09 billion, an 8-percent increase. Their share of total assets fell slightly, by one percentage point, to stand at 30 percent. Acquisitions increased noncurrent assets during 2014. Effective January 2014, WACKER included Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd. in the consolidated financial statements for the first time after acquiring a majority stake in the company by means of a capital increase. In the previous year, this company had still been accounted for using the equity method. Scil Proteins Production GmbH, which WACKER acquired in its entirety, was fully consolidated as of January 2, 2014. Investment spending was slightly below depreciation. The increase in inventories and trade receivables is attributable to the positive operating performance. While noncurrent and current liquidity declined year on year, deferred tax assets increased.
Intangible Assets, Property, Plant and Equipment, and Investment Property
Intangible assets, property, plant and equipment and investment property grew by € 539.7 million to € 4.35 billion as of December 31, 2014 (Dec. 31, 2013: € 3.81 billion). The production plants of Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd. and Scil Proteins Production GmbH were included in the Group’s property, plant and equipment for the first time in 2014. That is one of the reasons for the increase. Property, plant and equipment rose by € 527.2 million through December 31, 2014, up 14 percent. Current investment spending on property, plant and equipment amounted to € 572.2 million. More than half of this amount went toward construction of the production site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA), where WACKER POLYSILICON is building a new polysilicon production facility. Additional investments were made for WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and Siltronic. Depreciation and valuation allowances reduced noncurrent assets by € 599.0 million in 2014 (2013: € 564.4 million). Total depreciation was higher than a year earlier, primarily because of the current depreciation recognized at Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd. Exchange-rate differences increased the carrying amount of noncurrent assets by € 244.1 million.
Investments in Joint Ventures and Associates Accounted for Using the Equity Method
Higher earnings caused investments in joint ventures and associates accounted for using the equity method to rise slightly, to € 20.5 million (Dec. 31, 2013: € 18.9 million). The interest in Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd. ceased to be accounted for using the equity method as of January 2014. Its carrying amount had, however, already been reduced by high levels of current depreciation and finance expenses.
Noncurrent Financial Assets and Securities
Other noncurrent assets totaled € 487.9 million as of December 31, 2014 (Dec. 31, 2013: € 562.2 million), a year-on-year decline of 13 percent. One cause of this drop was the full consolidation of Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd., which eliminated the shareholder loans of € 142.2 million made to the company. On the other hand, deferred tax assets climbed by € 168.6 million to total € 334.3 million. That increase is primarily attributable to the provisions for pensions, which rose as a consequence of higher actuarial losses caused by low discount rates. Other noncurrent assets also include € 37.6 million in noncurrent securities, as well as noncurrent derivative financial instruments and noncurrent tax receivables. Noncurrent securities totaling € 83.2 million were reclassified as current.
Current assets increased by nearly 8 percent year on year. They came in at € 2.09 billion (Dec. 31, 2013: € 1.95 billion). The inventory level has grown because the inventories of the companies newly included in the consolidated financial statements were reported for the first time. Sales growth increased inventories, which totaled € 734.3 million as of December 31, 2014 (Dec. 31, 2013: € 616.9 million), up 19 percent. Trade receivables amounted to € 684.0 million as of December 31, 2014 (Dec. 31, 2013: € 614.1 million). That was an 11-percent increase, primarily attributable to higher business volumes. Inventories and trade receivables combined accounted for 20 percent of total assets, an increase of one percentage point over December 31, 2013. Exchange-rate effects increased inventories and trade receivables by € 42.0 million.
Other current assets posted a slight decline, falling from € 714.3 million to € 674.8 million – a drop of 6 percent. They mainly comprise securities and cash and cash equivalents. Current securities amounted to € 157.4 million at the end of Q4 2014 (Dec. 31, 2013: € 71.9 million). The increase represents WACKER’s investment of liquid funds in fixed-term deposits. Liquid funds decreased from € 431.8 million to € 325.9 million at the balance sheet date. This drop stemmed not only from WACKER’s redemption of external bank loans at Siltronic Silicon Wafer Pte. Ltd. in Q1 2014 as part of its acquisition of the majority stake, but also from payments made on investment projects at the Group’s business divisions. Conversely, there were inflows of liquid funds from a long-term loan drawn in the amount of € 80.0 million and from incoming payments of damages. Other current assets included income tax receivables of € 15.2 million (Dec. 31, 2013: € 19.5 million) and other tax receivables in the amount of € 49.6 million (Dec. 31, 2013: € 52.1 million). Other current assets accounted for 10 percent of total assets (Dec. 31, 2013: 11 percent).