Current and Noncurrent Assets
Noncurrent assets rose by € 440.7 million to € 5.29 billion (Dec. 31, 2014: € 4.85 billion) – equivalent to an increase of 9 percent – and accounted for 73 percent of total assets (Dec. 31, 2014: 70 percent). Compared with December 31, 2014, current assets declined from € 2.09 billion to € 1.97 billion, a decrease of 6 percent. Their share in total assets fell by 3 percentage points to 27 percent. Capital expenditures were substantially higher than depreciation due to the intensive construction phase reached at the polysilicon site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA). That also increased property, plant and equipment. The increase in inventories was due in part to exchange-rate effects. Trade receivables remained unchanged. Noncurrent and current liquidity declined year over year, as did deferred tax assets.
Intangible Assets, Property, Plant and Equipment, and Investment Property
Intangible assets, property, plant and equipment and investment property grew by € 487.0 million, amounting to € 4.83 billion as of December 31, 2015 (Dec. 31, 2014: € 4.35 billion). While this increase was due in part to exchange-rate effects, it was driven mainly by current investments in property, plant and equipment, which had risen by € 487.8 million as of December 31, 2015, up 11 percent. Current investment spending on property, plant and equipment amounted to € 830.6 million, with around 65 percent of this amount going toward completion of the production site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA). The new WACKER POLYSILICON production plant there manufactured its first batches of polysilicon in early 2016. Additional investments were made for WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and Siltronic. Depreciation reduced fixed assets by € 575.4 million year over year (Dec. 31, 2014: € 599.0 million). Changes in exchange rates increased the carrying amount of fixed assets by € 230 million.
Noncurrent Financial Assets and Securities
Other noncurrent assets totaled € 440.9 million as of December 31, 2015 (Dec. 31, 2014: € 487.9 million), down 10 percent year over year. In the course of the year, noncurrent securities were liquidated and the proceeds used to finance investment spending. Investments in noncurrent securities declined from € 37.6 million as of December 31, 2014 to € 3.7 million. Deferred tax assets decreased by € 12.9 million to € 321.4 million, mainly due to lower actuarial losses from the provisions for pensions.
Current assets decreased by just under 6 percent year over year, totaling € 1.97 billion (Dec. 31, 2014: € 2.09 billion). Inventory levels grew from € 734.3 million to € 785.2 million, one reason being exchange-rate effects. That represented an increase of 7 percent. Inventories also rose in connection with commissioning of the polysilicon site in Tennessee. Trade receivables amounted to € 679.4 million at the end of the reporting year (Dec. 31, 2014: € 684.0 million). Inventories and trade receivables together accounted for 20 percent of total assets, unchanged over the previous year.
Other current assets declined substantially, from € 674.8 million to € 505.0 million – a decrease of 25 percent. They mainly comprise securities, and cash and cash equivalents. Current securities amounted to € 67.2 million at the end of Q4 2015 (Dec. 31, 2014: € 157.4 million), with WACKER investing liquid funds in fixed-term deposits. Liquid funds remained virtually unchanged, amounting to € 310.5 million on the balance sheet date (Dec. 31, 2014: € 325.9 million). After deduction of transaction costs, the Group received total proceeds of € 361.9 million in Q2 2015 from the IPO of Siltronic AG. WACKER used a portion of these funds to finance capital expenditures. In Q1 2015, the company repaid € 150 million on promissory notes (German Schuldscheine). Other current assets included income tax receivables of € 19.0 million (Dec. 31, 2014: € 15.2 million) and other tax receivables of € 41.5 million (Dec. 31, 2014: € 49.6 million). Other current assets accounted for 7 percent of total assets (Dec. 31, 2014: 10 percent).