Sales of WACKER Products Rise
Overall sales of our products were higher in 2016, mainly due to higher volumes.
Our business is characterized by high repeat-purchase rates. 100 percent of Siltronic’s 2016 product sales were transacted with customers we had supplied in 2015. At WACKER POLYMERS, the repeat-purchase rate was 97 percent (by sales), and the rate at WACKER SILICONES was somewhat over 90 percent. The repeat-purchase rate at WACKER POLYSILICON is not meaningful, since there are customers who have completely withdrawn from the solar business.
WACKER customers can be categorized in three groups: global key accounts, customers, and distributors. Global key accounts are customers of special strategic significance for WACKER and those generating high sales levels. WACKER currently has 40 global key accounts, with which we generated around 25 percent of our 2016 revenue in the chemical divisions (WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS). Over 55 percent of our chemical-related revenue was from our approximately 8,000 other active customer relationships and around 20 percent from distributors.
Sales and Distribution Network Expanded
Our chemical divisions’ distribution business grew moderately in 2016. Our distributors have increased in number to around 350 as we have expanded our network in Asia. The number of cross-regional distributor groups (5) remained constant. Our 50 most important distributors generated around 75 percent of distribution sales. A key element in strengthening WACKER’s branding and effectively promoting sales of our products is marketing communications. In 2016, we spent €14.8 million (2015: €14.8 million) on marketing communications.
Breakdown of Marketing Costs
Attendance at 71 Tradeshows Worldwide
WACKER’s tradeshow presence remained at a high level in 2016. We had our own booth at a total of 71 tradeshows (2015: 86). The most important tradeshow in 2016 was “K” in Düsseldorf, the world’s largest plastics tradeshow, where we introduced new products and applications from WACKER SILICONES. We regularly analyze the qualitative and quantitative success of our tradeshow communications, with 26 shows reviewed in 2016 (2015: 30).