Siltronic closes 2017 fiscal year successfully and anticipates highly positive 2018 fiscal year
After a highly successful 2017, Siltronic AG, one of the world's leading manufacturers of wafers made of hyperpure silicon, expects business performance to continue developing positively in 2018.
"In 2017, our business was characterized by a combination of very high demand for silicon wafers and limited production capacities, a situation that has led to a considerable increase in average selling prices. Our customers are keen to secure their wafer volumes well in advance and we have concluded a number of long-term contracts at favorable conditions," said Dr. von Plotho, CEO of Siltronic AG.
The positive market environment in 2017 enabled Siltronic to increase its average selling prices for 200-mm and 300-mm wafers quite significantly. In the fourth quarter 2017, prices in US dollars for 300-mm wafers as well as for Siltronic AG's entire product range were around 30 percent higher year-on-year.
At EUR 1,177.3 million, sales in 2017 were significantly up on the previous year (2016: EUR 933.4 million), mainly owing to higher average selling prices
Cost of sales rose from EUR 761.5 million to EUR 807.0 million in 2017. Excluding one-time expenses, Siltronic was able to reduce the cost per wafer area compared with the previous year on the back of higher capacity utilization and successful cost-cutting measures.
Gross profit totaled EUR 370.3 million, more than doubling the previous year’s figure. The gross profit margin jumped from 18.4 percent to 31.5 percent.
EBITDA amounted to EUR 353.1 million, also more than twice the amount recorded one year earlier (2016: EUR 146.0 million). EBITDA margin rose to 30.0 percent compared with 15.6 percent in 2016.
In 2017, the net expenses of EUR 3.0 million for currency hedging measures were significantly lower than EUR 20.9 million in 2016.
At EUR 235.7 million, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were almost nine times higher than in the previous year (2016: EUR 27.0 million).
At EUR 192.2 million, net profit for the 2017 fiscal year improved significantly year-onyear (2016: EUR 8.7 million).
Earnings per share amounted to EUR 6.18 (2016: EUR 0.40).
Higher EBIT had a positive impact on return on capital employed (ROCE), which rose from 3.7 percent to 31.3 percent.
In 2017, Siltronic invested EUR 123.2 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets. Increases in wafer prices have reached a level that justifies investments in additional production capacity for 300 mm wafers. Consequently, in September 2017 Siltronic decided to expand its capacity by around 70,000 additional 300-mm wafers per month by mid-2019. The increase will enable Siltronic to keep pace with market growth and maintain its market share. Siltronic will invest around EUR 140 million in these planned measures. In 2017, Siltronic placed orders for the required production equipment and has already made advance payments to suppliers of around EUR 30 million. Moreover, automation projects that had already been initiated were continued and investments were made in new crystal pullers.
At EUR 169.6 million, free cash flow for 2017 was clearly positive and, as expected, well above the previous year's level of EUR 19.0 million.
Net financial assets improved accordingly to EUR 342.1 million (2016: EUR 175.0 million).
The Management Board and Supervisory Board of Siltronic AG will propose a dividend of EUR 2.50 per share for fiscal year 2017 at the Annual General Meeting in April. This equates to a total dividend payment of EUR 75 million. The pay-out ratio amounts to 40 percent of the net income attributable to Siltronic shareholders in 2017.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions and estimates of Siltronic’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. Siltronic does not plan to update the forward looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do so.
The contents of this press information refer equally to men and women. To aid readability, the male pronoun has been used (e.g. he/his).