Wacker Chemie with a slump in profits – bottom out?
At the Munich-based specialty chemicals group Wacker, the boom has ended for the time being. Sales fell in the first quarter by 16 percent to 1.74 billion euros because the quantities sold and prices fell, as Wacker Chemie announced on Friday. Earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) even fell by 56 percent to 281 million euros. “As expected, the reduction in inventories by our customers and the cautious ordering behavior in the first quarter are reflected in our figures,” said CEO Christian Hartel on Friday. “In all business areas we therefore sold less than a year ago.” The results also showed the consequences of the high energy prices.
However, Ebitda was slightly better than analysts had expected. According to Hartel, the bottom could now have been passed because customers had used up stocks. “In March, all of our business areas achieved higher sales than at the beginning of the year. However, there is still no clear signal for a significantly stronger second quarter to be read on the market, not even from China.” Wacker continues to focus on the second half of the year to achieve its goals.
After the record year 2022, the group had already prepared for a weaker 2023. Sales are expected to fall by up to 15 percent to between 7.0 and 7.5 (2022: 8.2) billion euros. The Ebitda should shrink to 1.1 to 1.4 (2.08) billion euros, and the net profit will also be significantly below the previous year. In the first quarter it collapsed by almost two thirds to 147.2 million euros.