Value-Based Management Is Integral to Our Corporate Policies

Value-based management is an integral part of our corporate policies. Its purpose is to sustainably increase our company’s value in the long term. In our management processes, we distinguish between performance and budget parameters. Performance parameters serve the financial management of the company. They include the EBITDA margin and ROCE. The EBITDA margin indicates how successful the company is compared with the competition, while ROCE shows how efficiently the company employs its capital. Also important for management control are the budget parameters EBITDA and net cash flow. In addition to these indicators, BVC (Business Value Contribution) is a dedicated budget parameter used in the calculation of variable compensation for Executive Board members and senior managers.

In this context, value management and strategic planning complement each other. Accordingly, we align the strategic positioning of a business entity with its contribution to increasing the company’s value. As part of annual planning, we make fundamental decisions on capital expenditure and innovation projects, on harnessing new markets and on a variety of other projects.

The management decision-making process makes active use of key financial performance indicators. For example, lower-than-expected net cash flow could result in our adjusting investments during the year. Being highly flexible, WACKER can react to both positive and negative changes.

The EBITDA trend is considered to be the most important financial indicator for communication with capital markets.

Key Financial Performance Indicators for the WACKER Group

In 2016, we continued to use the same key financial performance indicators for value management as in previous years. These are:

  • EBITDA margin (EBITDA in relation to sales). We compare historical performance with planned performance and with the competition, and use the result to calculate a target EBITDA margin. We calculate the weighted divisional average as our target margin for the Group.
  • ROCE or return on capital employed. ROCE is defined as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) divided by capital employed. Capital employed comprises noncurrent assets and net current assets. ROCE clearly indicates how profitably the capital required for business operations is being employed. ROCE is influenced not only by profitability, but also by capital intensity with regard to noncurrent and net current assets. ROCE is reviewed annually as part of our planning process and is a key criterion for managing our capital expenditure budget.
  • EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). This demonstrates the operational performance capability of the company before cost of capital. We set absolute EBITDA targets for the business divisions and take the cost of capital into account by using BVC to determine the internal budget target. We calculate BVC by deducting the cost of capital, non-operational factors, and depreciation and amortization from EBITDA. The development of BVC depends mainly on changes in EBITDA.
  • Net cash flow (defined as the sum of cash flow from operating activities and long-term investing activities before securities and including additions from finance leases, less the change in advance payments received). Net cash flow shows whether we can finance ongoing operations and necessary investments from our own operating activities. WACKER’s aim is to generate a sustained positive net cash flow. Apart from profitability, the main factors affecting net cash flow are the effective management of net current assets and the level of capital expenditures.

Supplementary Financial Performance Indicators

Our key financial performance indicators are supplemented by additional performance indicators that provide us with information on the Group’s sales and liquidity situation and debt levels.

These supplementary financial performance indicators include:

Sales: profitable growth is an important factor in increasing the company’s value over the long term and one of the main drivers of a positive cash flow trend.

Capital expenditures: as part of our medium-term planning, we set capital-expenditure priorities and an investment budget. Investments of overriding importance for the company are decided on by the Executive Board on the basis of the Group’s strategy. Other investments are planned by each business division. To this end, the individual business divisions regularly analyze their capacity utilization and anticipated capacity requirements. The respective business divisions and Corporate Engineering at WACKER are responsible for the operational management of individual investment projects (project handling, deadlines, budgets, quality and safety).

Net financial debt: WACKER’s net financial debt is a supplementary performance indicator that we use to monitor the Group’s financial situation. We define it as the sum of cash and cash equivalents, noncurrent and current securities, and noncurrent and current financial liabilities.

Non-Financial Performance Indicators

None of the non-financial performance indicators described in detail in the Annual Report are used universally for corporate decision-making, although certain indicators, such as the accident rate, are important in some parts of the company.

Non-Financial Performance Indicators Used for Decision-Making in Parts of the Company


Non-Financial Performance Indicators




Number of employees

Corporate departments and production

Order intake

Business divisions

New-product rate

Business divisions

Electricity and energy consumption

Business divisions and sites

Production utilization

Business divisions and sites

Key environmental indicators

Business divisions and sites

Accident rate

Business divisions and sites

Development of Key Financial Performance Indicators in 2016

EBITDA margin: in 2016, the target margin was 20 percent, with the Group posting an actual EBITDA margin of 20.4 percent.

Planned and Actual Figures

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€ million


Reported for 2016


Forecast 20161











March 2016 forecast


EBITDA adjusted for special income came to €911.2 million in 2015 and €1,081.1 million in 2016.

EBITDA margin (%)




Somewhat lower







Slight rise when adjusted for special income2



ROCE (%)




Substantially lower



Net cash flow




Markedly more positive



EBITDA: we were expecting EBITDA – adjusted for special income – to be marginally higher in 2016 compared with the prior year, and we exceeded this target. Compared with the prior year, EBITDA exclusive of special income rose by €169.9 million to €1.08 billion. EBITDA inclusive of special income climbed €52.6 million, from €1.05 billion to €1.10 billion. In 2016, the cost of capital before taxes was 10.1 percent. We did not reach our BVC target for the Group in 2016. At € –246.7 million, the value achieved was below the prior-year level.


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€ million











Capital employed is the sum of average noncurrent assets (less noncurrent securities and deferred tax assets), plus inventories and trade receivables (less trade payables). It is the variable used in calculating the cost of capital.


Return on capital employed is the profitability ratio relating to the capital employed.


BVC is calculated by adjusting EBIT for non-operational factors.











Capital employed1





ROCE2 (%)





Pre-tax cost of capital (%)















ROCE: WACKER’s ROCE in 2016 was 6.1 percent. In our forecast, we had assumed that ROCE would be significantly lower than in the prior year due to the increase in capital employed.

Net cash flow: we forecast a markedly positive net cash flow for 2016, given the strong decline in capital expenditures. At €400.6 million, net cash flow was in line with our forecast.