Outlook for 2021

WACKER’s main planning assumptions relate to raw-material and energy costs, personnel expenses and exchange rates. For 2021, we anticipate a euro exchange rate of US$1.20 (2020: 1.15). Average prices of our key raw materials should be significantly higher than last year, with the cost of natural gas and electricity remaining stable. The majority of our raw-material and energy supplies are secured for 2021. Due to our Shape the Future program, we expect savings in non-personnel costs and personnel expenses. On the other hand, our guidance also includes current expenses for phased early retirement. If the acquisition of Siltronic shares by GlobalWafers Co. Ltd. is completed in 2021, WACKER’s will increase by €780 million. will then rise by €1.3 billion, the total proceeds of the sale. Net financial debt will decrease by that amount. These non-recurring effects are not accounted for in the outlook for 2021.

Performance Indicators and Value-Based Management

WACKER’s key performance indicators are the same as last year.

Group Sales in 2021 to Benefit from Volume Growth

In 2021, WACKER expects to see volume growth and positive product-mix effects at its chemical divisions. Average prices in several product segments are likely to be somewhat lower than last year. In our business, we anticipate slightly higher volumes and a better product mix. For the year as a whole, we do not expect a decline in polysilicon prices versus last year. Overall, Group sales are projected to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage.

Economic uncertainties may cause the actual performance of the WACKER Group and its divisions to diverge from our assumptions, either positively or negatively. We expect to return to a growth path in 2021, as long as there are no unforeseen slumps in WACKER’s key regions and industries, and the pandemic is contained effectively.

Outlook for Key Performance Indicators at the Group Level

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

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Outlook for 2021




Reported for 2020


Outlook 2021






Key Financial Performance Indicators





EBITDA margin (%)




Slightly higher than last year

EBITDA (€ million)




10 to 20 percent higher than last year

ROCE (%)




Substantially higher than last year






Net cash flow (€ million)




Clearly positive, substantially lower than last year






Supplementary Financial Performance Indicators





Sales (€ million)




Mid-single-digit percentage increase

Capital expenditures (€ million)




Around €350 million

Net financial debt (€ million)




Positive net financial assets






Depreciation/amortization (€ million)




Around €400 million

EBITDA margin and EBITDA: the EBITDA margin is likely to be slightly above last year’s level (2020: 14.2 percent), with EBITDA 10 to 20 percent higher. The trend reflects higher raw-material costs and negative exchange-rate effects of more than €100 million in total. This Group guidance takes account of some of the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Group net income for the year will be markedly above last year’s level.

ROCE: will be substantially higher than last year (2020: 5.6 percent).

Net cash flow: we expect net cash flow to be clearly positive in 2021, though substantially lower than last year. This is due to higher capital expenditures, to termination expenses resulting from the Shape the Future program, and to a rise in working capital.

Outlook for Supplementary Performance Indicators at the Group Level

Capital expenditures: in 2021, capital expenditures will amount to around €350 million, which is significantly higher than last year, but below the depreciation and amortization level. At around €400 million, depreciation and amortization will be on par with last year. Capital spending included new and facilities at the Burghausen and Nanjing sites, and a plant for making hybrid at Nünchritz.

Net financial debt: positive cash flow will reduce net financial debt further (2020: €67.5 million). We anticipate that the balance of financial debt and financial assets will be in slightly positive territory.

Divisional Sales and EBITDA Trends

At WACKER , we expect sales for 2021 to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage versus last year. Growth will be driven by higher volumes for specialty applications. Lower average prices in some product areas will have the opposite effect. We anticipate sales growth in all regions. Both EBITDA and the EBITDA margin are likely to be slightly higher than last year. Raw-material and energy prices should also rise slightly year over year.

At WACKER POLYMERS, we expect sales to grow by a mid-single-digit percentage, supported by higher volumes of dispersions and dispersible polymer powders. In this division, too, we anticipate sales growth in all regions. Due to a marked rise in raw-material costs, EBITDA will be much lower than last year, as will the EBITDA margin, which we expect to be between 15 and 18 percent.

We predict that WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS will lift its sales by a low-double-digit percentage, with the main impetus coming from biopharmaceuticals. EBITDA should be slightly higher than last year, with the EBITDA margin matching last year’s level.

In our polysilicon business, we expect sales to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage in 2021, driven by an improved product mix and slightly higher volumes. Average prices will not decline. We anticipate a clearly positive EBITDA, substantially above the year-earlier figure. The EBITDA margin should climb significantly.

Future Dividends

Our goal is to distribute about half of Group net income to shareholders, provided that the business situation permits this and the decision-making bodies agree.


The main features of our financing policy remain in place. We are confident that we have a strong financial profile with a sound capital structure and healthy maturities for our debt. As of December 31, 2020, WACKER had more than €600 million in unused lines of credit with residual maturities of over one year.

Executive Board Statement on Overall Business Expectations

The risks to the economy will continue in 2021. The progress made in containing the coronavirus pandemic will be the main factor influencing global economic growth. On the positive side, economic analysts expect global GDP (gross domestic product) to pick up, thanks to vaccination campaigns, concerted health-policy measures and government funding. But another economic downturn could ensue if there are any further delays in vaccine supplies or if restrictive measures to contain further outbreaks are significantly extended.

We expect a positive business trend in 2021, with sales climbing by a mid-single-digit percentage once again this year. EBITDA should be 10 to 20 percent higher than last year. The EBITDA trend will be slowed by significantly higher raw-material costs and negative exchange-rate effects. They will dampen EBITDA by over €100 million in total.

At around €350 million, capital expenditures will be markedly above the prior-year level. Depreciation and amortization will come in at around €400 million, on par with last year. Net cash flow will be clearly positive, though substantially lower than last year. Net financial debt will decline further and we anticipate a slight increase in net financial assets.

As regards the chemical divisions, we are confident that our excellent product portfolio will keep us on a growth trajectory and that our capital expenditures will meet market growth. At WACKER POLYSILICON, we also expect an increase in sales and a clearly positive EBITDA.

As of the preparation date of these financial statements, nothing had changed as regards our guidance.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Net Cash Flow
Net cash flow is defined as the sum of cash flow from operating activities and cash flow from long-term investing activities (excluding securities).
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)
Return on capital employed is the profitability ratio relating to the capital employed. It is defined as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) divided by capital employed. Investment income from Siltronic AG and the corresponding carrying amount in equity are not included when ROCE is calculated. ROCE is a clear indicator of how profitably the capital required for business operations is being employed. It is influenced not only by profitability, but also by capital intensity with regard to noncurrent assets required for business operations and to working capital. ROCE is reviewed annually as part of our planning process and is a key criterion for managing our capital expenditure budget.
Binary system in which one solid component is finely dispersed in another. VINNAPAS® dispersions are vinyl-acetate-based copolymers and terpolymers in liquid form. They are mainly used as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for grouts, plasters and primers.
Dispersible Polymer Powders
Created by drying dispersions in spray or disc dryers. VINNAPAS® polymer powders are recommended as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for tile adhesives, self-leveling compounds and repair mortars. They improve adhesion, cohesion, flexibility and flexural strength, as well as water-retention and processing properties.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.

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