Wacker Polysilicon’s operating EBITDA margin slips to -13.3%

Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee
Only the insurance payment for damages at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant made the EBITDA in Q3 positive – Image: Wacker Chemie

Record-low polysilicon prices and inventory valuation adjustments pushed the operating EBITDA margin of Wacker’s polysilicon division to minus 13.3% in the third quarter.

It was only the insurance compensation of €112.5 million for damages caused by a hydrogen explosion at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in 2017 that lifted the financial EBITDA margin of the division to 41.2%. Similarly, retained advance payments had turned a negative operating EBITDA into a positive overall EBITDA in Q2.

Leaving this special income aside, Wacker Polysilicon’s EBITDA margin has been negative for the fourth quarter in a row now: -10.2% in Q4 2018, -17.0% in Q1 2019, -7.8% in Q2 and -13.3% in Q3.

The positive aspect in the Q3 results is that polysilicon sales increased by 22% over the prior quarter to €206.4 million. Despite declining prices, this value was close to the result of €211.1 million in Q1 2019, bearing witness to rising shipments. “The demand improved considerably with much higher volumes,” confirmed Wacker’s CFO Tobias Ohler in a conference call with financial analysts.

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