Invitation to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting
Fiscal 2015 was a good year for WACKER. We achieved all of our goals and, in some cases, actually surpassed them. For the first time in our company’s history, sales jumped above the five-billion-euro mark. At €5.30 billion, they were about 10 percent higher year over year, thanks to positive exchange-rate effects and volume growth. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose about 9 percent, when adjusted for special income from advance payments retained and damages received from solar-sector customers. Net income was higher than expected at over €240 million. Every business division contributed to this success, achieving both sales growth and cost-savings.
We want you, our shareholders, to share in this positive performance. The Supervisory and Executive Boards will propose a dividend of €2.00 per share at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Compared with the previous year’s dividend, that represents an increase of 33 percent. Overall, we will be distributing 40 percent of the company’s profit for the year to you.
Net financial debt did not rise, contrary to our planning, but remained on a par with the previous year, at €1.07 billion. The proceeds from the IPO of Siltronic AG played a part in this. We were able to finance our capital expenditures of €830 million from current cash inflows.
We worked at full pace to complete our new site in Charleston, Tennessee (USA) and to begin manufacturing polysilicon there. The first quantities of high-quality polysilicon were produced at Charleston in early January of this year, and we have been gradually increasing production output since then, as scheduled.
Our chemical business developed particularly well in 2015. Sales totaled over €3.3 billion and EBITDA was up 38 percent, growing significantly more than sales, to about €530 million. This trend shows that we have the right products for global markets.
Our polysilicon business performed very respectably, amid lower prices and the start-up costs of some €90 million for our new site in Charleston. It was important to us that our production capacities were fully utilized and that we increased sales volumes.
In our silicon-wafer business, we posted a substantial rise in sales and a slight improvement in EBITDA, even though volume growth slowed in the second half of 2015. We compensated for lower prices through cost-savings.
On the whole, we are satisfied with the development of business. Of paticular note is the good sales and earnings trend at our three chemical divisions.
We hereby invite WACKER’s shareholders to attend our Annual Shareholders’ Meeting at the ICM – International Congress Center Munich (Munich-Riem, Am Messesee 6, 81829 Munich, Germany) – on Friday, May 20, 2016, starting at 10:00 a.m.
Wacker Chemie AG
Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Dr. Rudolf Staudigl
President & CEO