Saturday, May 28, 2011

Following a Strong First Quarter, Wacker Expects Further Growth

Following a strong first quarter, Wacker Chemie AG expects further sales and earnings gains for full-year 2011. Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of the Munich-based chemical company, underscored this point at Wacker’s 2011 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. “Wacker is poised for further growth,” he said. Staudigl reaffirmed the full-year forecast and said that sales should cross the €5-billion mark, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) should exceed 2010’s €1.19 billion level.

Of 2010’s Group net income of €497.0 million (2009: €-74.5 million), Wacker is paying out a total of €159.0 million (2009: €59.6 million) to its shareholders. The dividend per dividend-entitled share is €3.20 (2009: €1.20). The Executive and Supervisory Boards’ other proposals were also adopted by large majorities.

Following a very good fiscal 2010, Wacker further increased both sales and earnings in Q1 2011. Sales at the Munich-based chemicals Group climbed 21 percent to €1.29 billion from January through March 2011 (Q1 2010: €1.07 billion) – primarily due to higher sales volumes. A positive market environment and strong customer demand fueled Wacker’s continued business growth. The sales gain was additionally supported by higher prices in some key product segments. EBITDA achieved even stronger growth, climbing to €351.0 million in Q1 2011 (Q1 2010: €253.7 million), up 38 percent.

“After a short lull, Wacker has resumed its growth trajectory,” said CEO Rudolf Staudigl, addressing the company’s shareholders in Munich on Wednesday. “The broad economic recovery, spanning every industry, contributed substantially to our strong performance last year. Other factors were just as important, though. When demand slumped in 2009, we neither questioned our strategic course, nor did we abandon our sound core financial policies,” the CEO underscored. According to Staudigl, the Group will continue its efforts this year to enhance cost structures, processes and competitiveness. He added that Wacker was optimistic about the future in light of steady strong customer demand.


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