MUNICH—Wacker Chemie A.G. reported a 2 percent increase in sales at $1.39 billion for the first quarter of 2019.
The firm, however, reported a net loss of $6.16 million, the firm said it was impacted by lower polysilicon prices, higher energy costs and a temporary outage at its silicone manufacturing plants in Burghausen, Germany.
The firm's silicones unit—the largest of its four—still managed to report a 7 percent increase in sales to $362.3 million due to higher volumes, improved prices and positive exchange-rate effects. In the first quarter, the firm disclosed plans to gradually raise its silicone capacities by a total of 40,000 metric tons per year through 2021 with an investment totaling about $112 million.
"Wacker's business in the first quarter of 2019 was characterized by volume growth, somewhat better prices for chemical products and persistently challenging conditions in the solar market," CEO Rudolf Staudigl said in a statement.
Wacker is one of the world's largest silicone manufacturers. The silicones unit accounted for about 49 percent of its first quarter sales.