Outlook for 2017

WACKER’s main planning assumptions relate to raw-material and energy costs, personnel expenses and exchange rates. For 2017, we anticipate euro exchange rates of US$ 1.10 and ¥ 120.

Performance Indicators and Value-Based Management

WACKER’s key financial performance indicators are unchanged compared with last year.

Volume Growth to Support Group Sales in 2017

WACKER anticipates volume growth at every division in 2017. Our planning assumes rising prices for silicon wafers. Average prices for polysilicon will be below last year’s level. Group sales are expected to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage amid continued low prices in our polysilicon business.

Economic uncertainties could cause the actual performance of the WACKER Group and its divisions to diverge from our assumptions, either positively or negatively.

From today’s perspective, WACKER’s chemical divisions will generate sales growth. We expect polysilicon sales to be on a par with last year. Siltronic will grow its sales substantially.

Compared with 2017, sales should continue growing in 2018 – provided that the world economy remains on its growth path, as economic research institutes predict, and there are no unforeseen slumps in WACKER’s key regions and industries.

Outlook for Key Performance Indicators at the Group Level

From today’s perspective, the key performance indicators at the Group level will develop as follows.

EBITDA margin and EBITDA: the EBITDA margin is projected to be slightly below last year’s figure. On balance, prices will be lower in our business fields and raw-material prices will be higher, both of which will weigh on the EBITDA margin. EBITDA – on a comparable basis, i. e. adjusted to exclude solar-sector special income from damages received and from terminated contractual and delivery relationships with customers – will be on a par with last year. If current market conditions continue during the year, there will be additional opportunities for the EBITDA trend. With an effective tax rate of 30 percent, Group net income should come in at last year’s level.

ROCE: ROCE will be on a par with last year (2016: 6.1 percent).

Net cash flow: we expect net cash flow in 2017 to be clearly positive and comparable with last year.

Outlook for Supplementary Performance Indicators at the Group Level

Capital expenditures: at about €450 million in 2017, capital expenditures will edge up compared with last year, but remain well below depreciation. Depreciation will be around €720 million in 2017, slightly below last year’s level. Capital-expenditure projects include the construction of a new plant for pyrogenic silica at our Charleston site in the USA. The anticipated cash flow from operating activities is likely to fully cover investment spending.

Net financial debt: net financial debt will decrease further, to considerably below last year’s level (2016: €992.5 million).

Outlook for 2017


EBITDA exclusive of special income amounted to €1,081.1 million in 2016.



Reported for 2016

Outlook for 2017




Key Financial Performance Indicators



EBITDA margin (%)


Slightly below last year’s level

EBITDA (€ million)


At last year’s level, on a comparable basis without special income

ROCE (%)


At last year’s level




Net cash flow (€ million)


At last year’s level




Supplementary Financial Performance Indicators



Sales (€ million)


Mid-single-digit percentage increase

Capital expenditures (€ million)


Around 450

Net financial debt (€ million)


Substantially lower than last year




Depreciation (€ million)


Around 720

Divisional Sales and EBITDA Trends

At WACKER SILICONES, we expect to achieve a mid-single-digit percentage increase in sales in 2017 relative to last year. Sales growth will be fueled by every WACKER SILICONES business sector. We expect sales to increase in all regions. We want to continue increasing the share of specialty products in overall sales and keep capacity utilization high. With some raw-material prices rising, EBITDA should be slightly higher year over year.

At WACKER POLYMERS, our forecast is for a mid-single-digit percentage increase in sales compared with last year, with both dispersions and dispersible polymer powders contributing to this growth. We expect last year’s strong growth trend, especially in the Americas, to continue. EBITDA is anticipated to be substantially lower year over year due to much higher raw-material prices, with the EBITDA margin exceeding the 16 percent targeted for WACKER’s chemical divisions.

At WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, our projection is for a low-single-digit percentage increase in sales in 2017, with pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals providing the main impetus for growth. Integration costs for the new site in Spain will impact EBITDA in 2017, which will be substantially lower than last year.

We expect polysilicon volumes to continue growing in 2017 and estimate that the photovoltaics market will keep expanding as well. Despite volume growth, we do not expect sales to exceed last year’s level, given that average prices are likely to be lower than they were last year. EBITDA – adjusted to exclude special income from advance payments retained and damages received from customers – is expected to be somewhat higher than last year.

At Siltronic, we are projecting a high-single-digit percentage increase in sales, mainly spurred by volume gains and higher sales prices. We expect capacity utilization to be high for 200 mm and 300 mm wafer business. We also forecast a substantial year-over-year increase in EBITDA due to rising volumes and prices, to measures taken to optimize costs and to a year-over-year decline in currency-hedging costs.

Future Dividends

WACKER wants its shareholders to gain more from its profitability. The goal is to distribute around half of the company’s net income to shareholders. Previously, WACKER aimed for a distribution ratio of at least 25 percent of net income. In the future, about 50 percent of net income should go to shareholders, provided the business situation permits and the corporate bodies responsible agree.


The main aspects of our financing policy remain valid. We are confident that we have a strong financial profile with a sensible capital structure and healthy maturities for our debt. As of December 31, 2016, WACKER had at its disposal unused lines of credit with residual maturities of over one year totaling some €800 million.

Executive Board Statement on Overall Business Expectations

The economic and political risks for 2017 have not changed in any material way compared with last year. As yet, we cannot conclusively assess what economic policy the United States is likely to pursue under the Trump administration. Overall, however, there has been a discernible increase in trade protectionism worldwide, which could hamper global growth. WACKER nevertheless expects the world economy to continue growing in 2017.

We anticipate that the prices of the raw materials we use for production will increase in 2017. Group sales are expected to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage amid continued low prices in our polysilicon business. Our chemical divisions are likely to increase their sales. We expect sales at WACKER POLYSILICON to be on a par with last year. Siltronic will grow its sales substantially. EBITDA on a comparable basis is anticipated to be the same as last year, while the EBITDA margin will decline slightly year over year.

At around €450 million, capital expenditures will be on a par with last year. Depreciation will be slightly below last year’s level, at €720 million. We expect net cash flow to be clearly positive and of a similar magnitude to last year. Net financial debt will decline substantially and Group net income is expected to be roughly unchanged over last year.

WACKER has outstanding products, which are in demand from customers from all over the world. Our technological and innovative strength and our presence in key markets offer us a firm foundation for reinforcing and expanding our market positions.

We see good opportunities in 2017 to achieve further sales gains and to reach the same level of adjusted EBITDA as last year despite rising raw-material prices. Our strategy puts us in an excellent position to continue on this growth trajectory beyond 2017.

As of the date on which these financial statements were prepared, no changes had been made to our forecast.