Annual Report 2021

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Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Comparing Actual with Forecast Performance

WACKER clearly exceeded its targets for 2021 (published in its 2020 Annual Report) and achieved the best business year in the history of the company. A key factor was the high demand for WACKER products in all divisions as well as a strong increase in polysilicon prices.

At the start of 2021, WACKER projected that its sales would increase by a mid-single-digit percentage. The EBITDA margin was likely to be slightly higher than a year earlier, with EBITDA about 10 to 20 percent higher. ROCE was expected to be positive and substantially higher than the year before. Net cash flow was expected to be clearly positive, though substantially lower than the previous year. Capital expenditures would reach around €350 million, with depreciation and amortization amounting to around €400 million. For 2021, WACKER aimed to post positive net financial assets.

Forecast Revised Upward after Close of First Quarter

When publishing its figures for Q1 on April 2021, WACKER revised its forecast upward. Accordingly, sales were projected to rise by a low-double-digit percentage. EBITDA was expected to be 15 to 25 percent higher than the previous year, rather than 10 to 20 percent. For all the other key financial performance indicators, the full-year forecast remained unchanged.

Based on the positive business trend during the second quarter, WACKER once again raised its forecast for full-year sales and EBITDA on June 16, 2021. Sales were expected to reach €5.5 billion. WACKER had previously projected sales growth in the low-double-digit percentage range. WACKER expected EBITDA to reach between €900 million and €1.1 billion instead of the forecast 15 to 25 percent higher than a year earlier (€666 million). In the interim report for Q2, WACKER also revised upward its projections for the EBITDA margin, ROCE and net cash flow. The EBITDA margin was now expected to be considerably higher – and no longer slightly higher – than the previous year. ROCE was also forecast to be higher – substantially higher than the cost of capital. Net cash flow was expected to be clearly positive and higher than the prior year. WACKER had previously expected a significantly positive net cash flow, yet clearly below the previous year. The outlook for all the other key performance indicators remained unchanged.

Due to continued strong demand in all business divisions, on September 15, 2021, WACKER once again raised its annual forecast for sales and earnings. Full-year sales were expected to reach about €6 billion instead of €5.5 billion. EBITDA was now expected to range between €1.2 billion and €1.4 billion, thereby clearly exceeding the previous range of €900 million to €1.1 billion.

WACKER confirmed this forecast in its press release for Q3 published at the end of October 2021. Accordingly, net cash flow was projected to be clearly positive and higher than the previous year (previous guidance: on par with last year’s level). All other performance indicators remained unchanged.

According to preliminary calculations made on January 13, 2022, for full-year 2021, WACKER exceeded its previous forecast. Sales were expected to come in at €6.2 billion and EBITDA at €1.5 billion.

Comparing Actual with Forecast Performance






in 2020


March 2021


April 2021


July 2021


October 2021


in 2021














Key Financial Performance Indicators













EBITDA margin (%)




higher than
last year



higher than
last year





EBITDA (€ million)




10 to 20 percent
higher than
last year


15 to 25 percent
higher than
last year


€900 million
and €1.1 billion


Between €1.2 billion
and €1.4 billion



ROCE (%)




higher than
last year



higher than the
cost of capital




Net cash flow (€ million)




Clearly positive,
lower than
last year



Clearly positive,
on par with
last year


Clearly positive,
higher than
last year
















Supplementary Financial Performance Indicators













(€ million)






Low-double-digit percentage increase


Around €5.5 billion


Around €6 billion



Capital expenditures
(€ million)




Around 350









Net financial debt
(€ million)




Positive net financial assets






(€ million)




Around 400






WACKER Closes 2021 Surpassing Expectations

In 2021, WACKER posted sales of €6.21 billion (2020: €4.69 billion), up 32.3 percent year over year. The major factors were significantly higher volumes and improved prices. Exchange-rate effects, on the other hand, slowed sales slightly. EBITDA more than doubled and, at €1.54 billion (2020: €666.3 million), was 130.9 percent above the previous year. Significantly higher raw-material prices reduced EBITDA by about €500 million. At 24.8 percent, the EBITDA margin was also markedly higher (2020: 14.2 percent).

At €760.8 million, net cash flow was 9.0 percent higher year over year (2020: €697.7 million). Substantially higher cash inflows from operating activities were the main factor in this increase. ROCE of 28.3 percent was clearly positive and significantly higher than in the prior year.

In 2021, capital expenditures reached €343.8 million (2020: €224.4 million), well above the year-earlier figure.

At year-end, WACKER recognized net financial assets of €546.5 million (2020: net financial debt of €67.5 million).

Expenses by Cost Type


% of sales










Personnel costs





Raw-material costs





Energy costs










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 degrees Celsius.
Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)
Return on capital employed is the profitability ratio relating to the capital employed. ROCE 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.