Wacker Lowers Annual Forcast
Wacker expects Group sales in the range of €6.5-6.8 billion, lowered from the previous forecast of €7.0-7.5 billion. EBITDA (earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) for the full year is now expected to be between €800 million-1.0 billion, down from €1.1-1.4 billion. These figures are below the average current market expectations, which are €7.0 billion for Group revenue and €1.1 billion for EBITDA, according to Vara Research. ROCE (return on capital employed) is expected to be below the cost of capital, where previously it was forecast above, although significantly lower than in 2022.
"Our expectations have declined primarily due to ongoing weak customer demand in a large number of industries, continuing inventory-reduction measures by customers and the lower year-over-year prices for many of our products," says Christian Hartel, CEO of Wacker. So far Wacker, like many other chemical companies, has not seen a recovery.
The main drivers for the adjustments in the forecast for fiscal 2023 are developments in the silicones and polysilicon business segments. In its silicones segment, preliminary figures show Q2 sales of €700 million, down 25% on the same period last year. Q2 EBITDA is expected at €50 million, down from €277 million in 2022. For the full year, Wacker now expects sales in the range of €2.7-2.9 billion (previous forecast: €3.1-3.3 billion). The EBITDA margin is expected to be around 10%, down 5% from the previous forecast.
Similarly the Wacker's polymers division is also down, with 25% less sales compared to 2022 and an EBITDA down 17% from last year. For the full year, Wacker now expects sales in the range of €1.6-1.7 billion instead of €1.8 billion. The EBITDA margin is expected to be around 17%, whereas previously it was estimated slightly above 2022's level.
Preliminary figures for Wacker's polysilicon division show Q2 sales of €515 million. While sales are down 10% on the previous year, they are up 16% on the first quarter. Q2 EBITDA is expected to be down 28% compared to 2022. EBITDA forecast is dropped to a narrower window of €300-400 million, whereas previously it was set at €300-500 million.
According to preliminary figures, the biosolutions business unit achieved sales of €90 million in the second quarter. This corresponds to a slight increase compared to the same period of the previous year. EBITDA is expected to be €0.5 million (previous year: EUR 8.1 million). For the full year, Wacker now expects sales growth in the high single-digit range for the segment (previous forecast: sales growth in the low double-digit range). EBITDA is expected to be below the previous year.