Wacker remains below year-earlier figures due to lower volumes in Q1 2023

05 May 2023
  • Group sales for Q1 2023 down 16% yr-on-yr to €1.74bn
  • EBITDA declines 56% to €281M compared with a year earlier, due to lower volumes and prices
  • Net income for Q1 at €147M
  • CEO Christian Hartel: “while our customers are easing off their inventory adjustments, we have yet to see a clear sign of stronger market demand”
  • Full-year forecast confirmed: group sales projected at around €7–7.5bn in 2023, with EBITDA expected to be between €1.1bn and €1.4bn


Wacker Chemie AG closed Q1 2023 with lower sales and earnings. The Munich-based chemical company generated sales of €1.74bn in the reporting quarter, down 16% over a year earlier (€2.08bn). This decrease was chiefly due to lower volumes. Compared with the previous quarter (€1.83bn), sales decreased by 5%.

In Q1 2023, Wacker posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €281M, 56% lower than in the same period last year (€644M). Compared with the preceding quarter (€355M) EBITDA was down 21%. The decline was due to lower volumes, as well as higher energy prices yr-on-yr. Amid an overall decline in plant utilisation rates compared with Q1 2022, production costs also rose, dampening the earnings trend. The EBITDA margin was 16.1% for the period from January through March 2023, compared with 31.0% in Q1 2022 and 19.4% in the preceding quarter.

Wacker confirmed its forecast for 2023. It expects full-year sales to range between €7bn and €7.5bn due to a combination of significantly lower selling prices, volume growth in the course of the year and positive product-mix effects in the chemical divisions. Wacker anticipates EBITDA of between €1.1 billion and €1.4 billion.

“As expected, our figures reflect our customers running down their inventories and exercising caution when ordering in Q1,” said CEO Christian Hartel in Munich on Friday. “For this reason, we sold less across all business divisions than we did a year ago.”

At the same time, however, Hartel was confident that the destocking phase could now be over. “In March, all of our business divisions generated higher sales than they did at the beginning of the year,” explained the CEO. “But as of yet there are no clear signals in the market that the second quarter will be substantially stronger, not even from China.

“Our customers expect business to continue to pick up over the course of the year but are still placing orders at very short notice.” Based on this, Hartel believes that the second half of 2023 is likely to be better overall than the first six months of the year.

He was also optimistic about Wacker’s prospects in the medium term: “Our Strategy 2030 provides us with clear goals: faster growth, high profitability and better resilience in times of constant change.” The CEO said Wacker’s goal was to generate sales of over €10bn by 2030 and reach an EBITDA margin of over 20%. He added that a key component in achieving these goals would be higher capital expenditures, which would be spread across more than 40 different projects worldwide. In 2023, capex will rise to around €650M


In Q1 2023, sales in all regions were lower year over year. Sales in Asia totaled €733M, down 17% from €887M a year earlier. In the Americas, Group sales fell 9% in the reporting quarter to €278M (Q1 2022: €305 M). Sales in Europe totalled €649M (Q1 2022: €790M), down 18%.

For more information, visit: www.wacker.com/presseinformationen

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