MUNICH—Wacker Chemie A.G.'s silicones business has reported lower revenue and earnings for the first quarter of 2020, despite higher volume sales.
Segment sales fell 3 percent year-on-year to about $637 million, mainly due to a decline in standard silicones prices, preliminary results by the Munich-based chemicals group showed April 30.
Earnings (EBITDA) came in at around $128.2 million in the reporting quarter, down 7 percent from a year earlier. Wacker linked the decline to lower prices, which were partially offset by higher volumes—particularly for specialties—and currency impact.
The German group reported total sales of around $1.3 billion, down 3 percent compared to last year, due mainly to lower prices for solar-grade polysilicon and standard silicones.
Group earnings, however, rose 23 percent to around $188 million, propelled in part by higher plant utilization and cost-cutting effects.
Wacker, at this time, declined to offer a full year forecast due to the potential economic impact of COVID-19.
"The virus-related risks to the company's earnings and financial position are becoming ever-more apparent," Wacker said.
To counter the COVID-19 impact, Wacker said it was introducing "short-time work" as of May 1 in several production-related and administrative units in Germany and at its German polysilicon production plants.
The German group will take similar measures in our other business divisions, "on short notice" if order intake declines.