Wacker almost sold out of polysilicon through 2015

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Despite continued polysilicon capacity expansion plans at Wacker and importantly at its competitors, the company has reported that it is virtually sold out of polysilicon to the PV industry through to 2015. Significantly, Wacker noted that it had received prepayments of over €230 million in the first quarter of 2011 and a total net prepayment balance of €1.2 billion, almost equivalent to the cost of building its new polysilicon plant in the US.

Furthermore, the sold-out situation suggests a continued flight to guaranteed high-purity polysilicon supply from major PV manufacturers as the quality aspects impact c-Si cell efficiencies. The company noted that customers continued to show a strong interest in new multiyear contracts that involved advance payments.

“Wacker continues its upward trend past the first three months of 2011,” noted Group CEO Rudolf Staudigl.

“We continue to see strong demand for our high quality polysilicon products,” he said. “During Q1 alone, we received another 230 million Euros in prepayments for future polysilicon deliveries. All of our planned polysilicon production is now mostly sold out through 2015, including the latest debottlenecking volumes. Our volume continues to grow as fast as engineering capabilities, safety and quality concerns allow. In a fast concentrating industry, you can expect us to maintain our leadership position.”

Polysilicon sales increased 28% in the first quarter reaching revenue of €414.4 million, up from €323.9 million reported for the same period a year ago. This was due to stable pricing, technical improvements to production plants and an increase in polysilicon output of 30% year over year as its Poly 8 facility ran at full nominal capacity.

With increased sales and high-utilization rates, first-quarter EBITDA came in at €214.7 million, up from €157.7 million reported in the same period last year, a rise of more than 36%. The first-quarter EBITDA margin reached 51.8% compared to 48.6% in the first quarter of 2010.

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