Geschrieben am 16-05-2006


ots-CorporateNews transmitted by euro adhoc.
The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.

Wacker Chemie AG reports a year-on-year sales growth and even
stronger earnings for Q1 2006. Despite higher raw-material and energy
costs, the Munich-based chemical company increased its year-on-year
EBITDA to EUR183.6 million, up 100 percent (Q1 2005: EUR92 million).
Semiconductor operations were the main growth driver. At Siltronic,
EBITDA rose by EUR68 million against the weak prior-year first
quarter. Q1 EBIT increased to EUR105.7 million (Q1 2005: EUR9.2
million) and the Group net profit reached EUR66.2 million, up EUR86.5
million year on year. In consequence, earnings per share amounted to
EUR1.49. Benefiting from a robust global economy and strong volume
gains, consolidated sales rose to EUR798.5 million, up 31 percent (Q1
2005: EUR608.2 million). Five percent of this rise stemmed from
exchange-rate shifts. All business divisions clearly surpassed their
comparable prior-year sales figures. WACKER expects the upward trend
to continue for the remainder of the year. Providing that high oil
prices do not depress the economic situation, the WACKER Group
estimates sales growth for the full year to be slightly above prior
year’s 10 percent. EBITDA should be between EUR640 million and EUR680

"Our good first-quarter figures underpin the Group’s operational
strength," says CEO Peter-Alexander Wacker. "We see this as
validation of our corporate strategy geared to long-term, profitable

In terms of regional growth, most of the Group’s sales gains were
made on international markets. In Asia, Q1 2006 sales grew by 86
percent to EUR217.8 million (Q1 2005: EUR117 million). In China,
sales more than doubled compared to the corresponding prior-year
period. At EUR173.9 million (Q1 2005: EUR135 million), sales in the
Americas were also strong, rising by 29 percent. In the European
markets, excluding Germany, sales rose by 16 percent to EUR232.5
million (Q1 2005: EUR200.5 million) - with central and eastern
European countries making an above-average contribution. In Germany,
first-quarter sales were up 10 percent to EUR152.7 million (Q1 2005:
EUR138.2 million).

In the first three months of 2006, net cash flow improved
significantly, reaching EUR22.7 million (Q1 2005: EUR-93.8 million).
The increase was mainly due to the operational upturn in
semiconductors. Another contributory factor were prepayments from
customers, in connection with WACKER POLYSILICON’s capacity
expansion. At EUR75 million in Q1 2006, investments in intangibles
and property, plant and equipment were up 26 percent compared to Q1
2005 (EUR59.6 million). This rise results mainly from investments in
strategic growth projects, such as new production facilities for
silicone downstream products at Zhangjiagang (China) and capacity
expansions for polycrystalline silicon production at Burghausen

On March 31, 2006, WACKER had 14,520 employees worldwide (Dec. 31,
2005: 14,434). So, Group employee numbers have remained constant
since the end of last year.

Business Divisions WACKER SILICONES generated total sales of EUR323
million in Q1 2006, a year-on-year rise of 21 percent (Q1 2005:
EUR266.5 million). The key factors were higher sales volumes and
product-mix improvements (+16 percent). The division’s earnings
growth was even stronger than its sales performance. EBITDA grew 42
percent to EUR64.8 million (Q1 2005: EUR45.6 million), boosted mainly
by capacity expansion and improved utilization rates, which more than
offset price increases for raw materials and energy.

WACKER POLYMERS had a first-quarter sales total of EUR121.4 million,
a year-on-year increase of 22 percent (Q1 2005: EUR99.8 million).
Growth was primarily driven by higher sales volumes, which accounted
for 17 percent of the sales rise. On the earnings front, WACKER
POLYMERS generated an EBITDA of EUR23.7 million, 35 percent above Q1
2005 (EUR17.6 million). The main reasons for earnings growth were
higher sales volumes, productivity gains, and enhanced capacity

WACKER FINE CHEMICALS generated total sales of EUR33.5 million from
January to March 2006 (Q1 2005: EUR27.4 million). The main growth
drivers were organic fine chemicals and customer projects finalized
by the end of Q1. Market demand for organic intermediates remained
particularly strong throughout the quarter under review. An improved
product mix helped WACKER FINE CHEMICALS to increase its EBITDA by 21
percent to EUR5.8 million (Q1 2005: EUR4.8 million).

In Q1 2006, WACKER POLYSILICON posted total sales of EUR85.5 million
(Q1 2005: EUR79.7 million). Sales were up 7 percent even though
ongoing measures to increase production capacity had not yet had an
impact in the period under review. Sales growth came mainly from
within the Group, where demand from Siltronic rose sharply. This
limited the quantities available for delivery to external customers
in the electronics and photovoltaics sectors. Due to the long and
harsh German winter, first-quarter sales of road salt surpassed the
high prior-year figure. WACKER POLYSILICON’s earnings rose much more
than sales, mainly due to a rise in average sales prices and a
decrease in unit costs for hyperpure silicon. EBITDA reached EUR30.9
million, a rise of 22 percent (Q1 2005: EUR25.3 million). Currently,
the division is pressing ahead with the strategic expansion of its
production capacity at Burghausen (Germany). An additional 1,000
metric tons from existing plants are scheduled to come on stream by
the end of 2006. Nominal capacity is expected to reach 6,500 metric
tons annually as a result. The new solar-grade silicon plant
currently under construction is expected to provide an additional
3,500 metric tons of polysilicon annually from the start of 2008.

Siltronic’s Q1 2006 figures reflect the sustained success of measures
to enhance the division’s operational performance. Total sales
reached EUR286.4 million from January to March 2006, a year-on-year
rise of 66 percent (Q1 2005: EUR172.7 million). Sales more than
doubled for 300-mm wafers and even grew by about 40 percent for
smaller wafer diameters. The key growth drivers were volume gains and
product-mix enhancements. On the earnings front, Siltronic followed
up on its success during the second half of 2005. EBITDA reached
EUR69.3 million (Q1 2005: EUR1.8 million). Main drivers for
profitability were sustained benefits from productivity gains and
cost reduction efforts, as well as higher capacity utilization and
the successful ramp-up of Freiberg’s 300-mm production line.

Outlook WACKER expects the upward trend to continue during 2006,
providing that the economic environment remains favorable. One
uncertain factor, in WACKER’s opinion, is the impact of higher oil
prices on the global economy. Profitability should benefit from
higher capacity utilization and price increases, moderated by an
increasingly strong Euro. Mainly WACKER’s Chemicals business will
also be impacted by higher raw material and energy costs.

The company expects a full-year sales growth slightly above last
year’s 10 percent. As for earnings, WACKER forecasts an EBITDA of
between EUR640 million and EUR680 million.

Key Group Figures

EUR million Q1 2006 Q1 2005 in %
Sales 798.5 608.2 31
EBITDA1 183.6 92.0 100
EBITDA margin2 23.0 % 15.1 % 52
EBIT(3) 105.7 9.2 >100
EBIT margin2 13.2 % 1.5 % >100
Financial result-11.0 -14.2 -23
Pre-tax result 94.7 -5.0 n. a.
Net profit/loss 66.2 -20.3 n. a.
EPS in EUR 1.49 -0.39 n. a.
Investment 75.0 59.6 26
Net cash flow 22.7 -93.8 n. a.
March 31, March 31, Dec. 31,
EUR million 2006 2005 2005
Equity 930.7 893.7 934.4
Financial liabilities 990.6 1,019.0 946.2
Provisions for pensions 355.3 342.9 352.1
Net financial debt 954.1 994.0 911.5
Total assets 3,019.8 2,900.2 2,922.9
Employees 14,520 14,494 14,434
1 EBITDA is EBIT before depreciation and amortization.
2 Margins are calculated based on sales.
3 EBIT is the result of continuing operations for the business year before
interest and other financial result, limited partnership interests and income

This press release contains forward looking statements based on
assumptions and estimates of WACKER's Executive Board. Although we
assume the expectations in these forward looking statements are
realistic, we cannot guarantee they will prove to be correct. The
assumptions may harbor risks and uncertainties that may cause the
actual figures to differ considerably from the forward looking
statements. Factors that may cause such discrepancies include, among
other things, changes in the economic and business environment,
variations in exchange and interest rates, the introduction of
competing products, lack of acceptance for new products or services,
and changes in corporate strategy. WACKER does not plan to update the
forward looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do

Note to editors: The report on 1st Quarter 2006 is available for
download from Wacker Chemie AG’s website (www.wacker.com) under the
caption Investor Relations.

end of announcement euro adhoc 16.05.2006 08:34:41

ots Originaltext: Wacker Chemie AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
Christof Bachmair
+49 (0)89 6279 1830

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN: DE000WCH8881
Index: CDAX
Börsen: Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / official dealing/prime standard
Börse Berlin-Bremen / free trade
Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
Bayerische Börse / free trade


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