Wacker Chemie AG set new sales and earnings records in 2022. According to preliminary figures, the Munich-based chemical Group’s sales came in at €8.21 billion last year, an increase of 32 percent over 2021 (€6.21 billion). Higher selling prices were the main factor in this year-over-year growth. Sales also benefited from positive exchange-rate effects due to the stronger US dollar. On the other hand, overall volumes were down somewhat versus the previous year, dampening sales.
The Group’s preliminary earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached €2.09 billion in 2022 (2021: €1.54 billion), up 35 percent. In addition to higher prices, cost savings from the Group’s ongoing efficiency programs had a positive impact on operating performance. On the other hand, the sharp increase in energy, raw-material and logistics costs reduced EBITDA by around €1.3 billion year over year.
Because of the effects described above, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) grew by 49 percent to around €1.69 billion (2021: €1.13billion). Depreciation and amortization came in at about €400 million, on par with the prior year (€404 million). Net income for 2022 was around €1.29 billion (2021: €828 million).
“All of our business divisions contributed to last year’s strong sales growth,” said CEO Christian Hartel. “Although demand slowed noticeably in some customer sectors in the second half of the year, we achieved substantially higher prices for our products than in 2021. That also helped us to offset sharp cost increases, especially for energy, but also for raw materials and logistics.”
Looking at current trading conditions, Hartel was conservative: “In numerous application areas, the weakening economy is already affecting customer order trends. We see signs of a slowdown, particularly in the construction industry, but also with silicones in other industries. In general, many customers are running down their inventories and currently remain cautious, even though they expect demand to pick up again in the course of the year.”