Wacker President and CEO Dr. Christian Hartel calls current times a 'turning point' and transition to a new era; Wacker's polysilicon, polymer solutions and silicones will be vital in digital transformation, electric vehicles and more

Sample article from our Transformation & Innovation

May 17, 2023 (press release) –

Shareholders, ladies and gentlemen,

There is a sense that the world has become less secure, less than before - for everyone. There is a war going on in Europe , and even before that, nothing was like it used to be: long COVID lockdowns, unstable supply chains, rapidly increasing energy prices, massive inflationary pressure and the immense challenges resulting from climate change. Many of these factors are closely interrelated, and often amplify each other.

Everything is in turmoil - in transformation and transition to a new era. We call this a "turning point," which also signifies people's conceregarding the future. But there are also opportunities. Our knowledge has never been so vast. Our technological capabilities have never been this strong. Let us utilize this potential to the benefit of humanity and the environment.

This is precisely where WACKER enters the picture: Our solutions make a better world for generations. This is what we stand for. It is our motivation. We want to contribute to a better future - for us and for generations to come. And we are doing just that. Without WACKER, the energy transition would not be possible. Our polysilicon provides the starting material for solar cells. Our polymer solutions will help make the construction sector more efficient, and buildings more economical and more sustainable. WACKER is also essential to the mobility transition. Our silicone products are in high demand for electric vehicle manufacturing. They make batteries safer and more powerful and durable. And, without WACKER, there would be no digital transformation. Half of the world's chips contain our polysilicon. WACKER also makes effective health protection possible. Our silicones enable high-tech applications in medical engineering. And we are expanding our production capacity for biopharmaceuticals. Proteins and mRNA actives are core technologies. This gives us the key to the future of medicine.

These examples demonstrate that WACKER has a big impact. WACKER creates added value. And you, our shareholders, are part of this story. Your investment in WACKER helps contribute to a better future. Welcome to the 17th Annual


Shareholders' Meeting of Wacker Chemie AG . I am glad to see you all here, I have been looking forward to this.

WACKER also recorded big achievements in the past business year. It was far and away the most successful year in the company's history. Despite war and crises, despite all the uncertainty and unpredictability, we grew faster than expected, surpassing even our record-breaking year of 2021.

The figures speak for themselves:

  • Sales - up by a third to 8.2 billion euros .
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - also up by a third to 2.1 billion euros
  • Net income for the year - up by more than 50 percent year over year to 1.3 billion euros .

These are top figures. And top figures also mean top dividends. 12 euros per share is what the Executive Board and Supervisory Board propose to you today. It is the highest dividend the company has ever paid. WACKER will be distributing roughly 50 percent of its net income for the year, in line with the company's dividend policy. That means our payment for the past business year to you, our shareholders, amounts to over 600 million euros .

The record results we achieved in 2022 were no matter of course. We had strong headwinds. The cost of energy, raw materials and logistics was 1.3 billion euros higher than the previous year. And yet we still closed the year with record figures.

How was this possible? What makes us different from our competitors? People, markets and molecules - that, in a nutshell, is what sets us apart, what makes the difference. This formula can be broken down further, into five specific points that make us stand out.

First: our product portfolio. Our chemical business in silicones and polymers, our biosolutions activities and our polysilicon business put us in a strong position. In all


these areas, we are among the global market and technology leaders. We serve many customer needs. In short: Our products are in demand.

Last year, we achieved double-digit sales growth in all business divisions - largely driven by better prices. Let's look at the results in detail.

WACKER SILICONES: In this division, sales grew by one-third last year to 3.5 billion euros . Growth in EBITDA was even stronger, with an increase of around 60 percent, to 876 million euros .

Silicones are a unique product group, real all-rounders. No other material in the world can be adapted so flexibly to so many different needs. Silicones can provide insulation for millions of volts in high-voltage cables, conduct electricity in cars and make batteries more efficient. They can rainproof clothing and make hand towels absorbent - two opposing properties. We offer around 3,000 different silicone products.

Silicones are used in virtually all sectors. Satisfying customer needs calls for research and custom-designed solutions, which is the reason for our capital expenditures, particularly in high-margin specialty products. And we have scored successes here: Today, we are the clear number two in the global silicone business.

WACKER POLYMERS: Sales grew 19 percent to 2.0 billion euros . EBITDA of 289 million euros in 2022 was 14 percent higher year over year.

Our polymer binders are in demand, especially in the construction industry. We have a clear lead in the global market for dispersible polymer powders based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymers. Demand is increasing, driven by issues such as building refurbishment, energy efficiency and sustainability. We will continue to expand production, worldwide. Our R&D is increasingly focused on customized and sustainable product solutions, including those based on renewable raw materials. There is also demand for sustainable solutions in the consumer segment. One example is adhesives for packaging, where the trend is clearly to use less plastic and move toward paper. This trend offers potential for WACKER POLYMERS.


WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS: This is currently our smallest business division, yet it has great ambitions - and great opportunities. In 2022, we surpassed the 300-million-euro sales mark for the first time. At 17 million euros , EBITDA came in lower than in the prior year, due to costs - for integrating the new site in San Diego as well as for the new mRNA Competence Center in Halle. We have a clear goal: We want to continue to expand our biotechnology business. We are aiming at one billion euros in sales by 2030.

You probably read this: Just under two weeks ago, we acquired ADL BioPharma in Spain . This company is among the global leaders in contract manufacturing of fermentation-based products for the food, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. We are also researching new approaches to utilizing renewable raw materials. To this end, we launched a partnership with the Technical University of Munich , jointly founding the Institute for Industrial Biotechnology . This paves the way for continued growth in biosolutions.

WACKER POLYSILICON: Sales in this division grew 50 percent year over year, to 2.3 billion euros . EBITDA climbed 26 percent to 826 million euros .

Polysilicon is the purest man-made product. Its manufacture is extremely energy intensive. High energy prices slowed the division's earnings trend. However, we have a strong position in this product segment. We are the only European manufacturer of consequence. Our customers are in the solar and semiconductor industries. We once again achieved a year-over-year increase in the share of hyperpure electronic-grade silicon in our portfolio. In this area, WACKER is indisputably the global number one. We also provide top-qualitysolar-grade silicon. We are one of the few suppliers capable of offering particularly high-quality polysilicon for monocrystalline solar cells - with extremely high efficiency.



Wacker Chemie AG published this content on 17 May 2023 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 17 May 2023 08:04:30 UTC .

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