MUNICH—Increased volumes across many segments were enough to offset negative currency effects and resulted in an increase of both sales and net income for Wacker in fiscal year 2017.
Overall group sales increased by 6.3 percent to about $5.5 billion for 2017, based on the average exchange rate for the year. Wacker said higher volumes of chemicals and polysilicon more than offset off-balance prices and the negative currency effects of the euro's strength against the U.S. dollar.
The group's 2017 net income more than quadrupled from the previous year, rising to about $1 billion. The gains, Wacker said, are reflective of the deconsolidation of Siltronic A.G. as a Wacker group segment and the inclusion of Siltronic's net income in the first quarter of 2017. Combined, those factors resulted in a gain of approximately $715 million.
Sales for the Wacker Silicones segment grew by 10 percent to about $2.5 billion in 2017, a direct result of volume gains, somewhat higher prices, plant utilization and cost efficiencies, Wacker said.
Its Polymers segment grew 5 percent to $1.41 billion in sales for 2017. Volumes for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders fueled the growth, while lower prices and negative currency effects dampened sales performance, Wacker said.
For Wacker Biosolutions, sales rose about 1 percent on the year to $233.2 million, while sales for Wacker Polysilicon climbed 2 percent to $1.25 billion in 2017. The growth was stifled by a loss of production at the Charleston, Tenn., plant following a Sept. 7 hydrogen explosion at the facility. Wacker said the blast, caused by technical defect, damaged a section of the plant that had to shut down. The closing led to a loss of 6,600 metric tons of polysilicon, which otherwise would have been available for sale.