Siltronic successfully closes the financial year 2018 and plans to pay a dividend of EUR 5.00 per share
As expected, the business development of Siltronic AG, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wafers made of hyperpure silicon, was very positive in 2018. The company has again significantly increased both sales and earnings.
“Our business in 2018 was characterized by a high demand for wafers. This again led to an increase in average selling prices and thus to a positive sales and earnings development. This is also the reason why we have slightly raised our forecast twice during the year,“ says Dr Christoph von Plotho, CEO of Siltronic AG.
Sales again significantly up in 2018
At EUR 1,456.7 million, annual sales in 2018 were significantly higher than in the previous year (2017: EUR 1,177.3 million). This is primarily attributable to the higher selling prices.
Development of cost of sales significantly lower than sales development
The absolute cost of sales rose from EUR 807.0 million in 2017 to EUR 824.8 million in 2018. Despite the increase of EUR 17.8 million, the cost of sales increased only disproportionately compared to the wafer area sold. This is mainly due to higher capacity utilization and declining depreciation.
Earnings also increased further, driven by higher selling prices. Gross profit improved by EUR 261.6 million to EUR 631.9 million in 2018. This corresponds to an increase of 70.6 percent. The gross margin rose from 31.5 percent to 43.4 percent. In addition to the higher selling prices, the improved capacity utilization of the production facilities also supported this development.
EBITDA and EBIT up to record levels due to improved gross margin
EBITDA reached EUR 589.3 million in 2018, up from EUR 353.1 million in 2017. The EBITDA margin also improved significantly, reaching 40.5 percent after 30.0 percent in 2017.
EBIT of EUR 497.7 million more than doubled compared to the previous year. The EBIT margin improved from 20.0 percent in 2017 to 34.2 percent.
Profit for the period and earnings per share more than doubled
In total, Siltronic generated a net profit for 2018 of EUR 400.6 million. Compared to EUR 192.2 million in 2017, it more than doubled. Earnings per share reached EUR 12.44 after EUR 6.18 in 2017.
The significant improvement in EBIT also had a positive impact on Siltronic's profitability. ROCE (return on capital employed) increased from 31.3 percent in 2017 to 58.1 percent.
Strong development also at a quarterly level
The quarter-on-quarter development was also robust. Sales of EUR 388.1 million were generated in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q3 2018: EUR 379.8 million). EBITDA reached EUR 160.8 million after EUR 160.2 million in the third quarter of 2018. The corresponding EBITDA margin was stable at a high level of 41.4 percent after 42.2 percent.
Equity further increased due to the profit for the period
A look at the balance sheet shows that equity increased to EUR 915.7 million as at December 31, 2018 (2017: EUR 637.9 million). The equity ratio was thus 50.4 percent compared with 50.9 percent as at December 31, 2017. The increase in equity by EUR 277.8 million is mainly attributable to the net profit for the period of EUR 400.6 million, less the distribution of the dividend for 2017 in the amount of EUR 75.0 million.
Non-current liabilities amounted to EUR 635.4 million as at December 31, 2018, compared with EUR 462.3 million in the previous year. The increase of
EUR 173.1 million resulted primarily from the sharp increase in prepayments received from customers.
Strong net cash flow despite increased investments into the future
Cash outflow for investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets reached EUR 235.5 million in 2018. In 2017, these amounted to EUR 129.3 million. The investments mainly related to the capacity expansion planned for 2019, the new crystal pulling hall in Singapore and the further automation of the production.
At EUR 240.4 million, net cash flow in 2018 was clearly positive and, as expected, well above the previous year's figure of EUR 124.8 million, despite the significantly higher investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets.
Strong net financial position of EUR 691 million
Net financial assets increased to EUR 691.3 million as at December 31, 2018 (2017: EUR 342.1 million).
Shareholders participate in the sustainable business success
Based on the successful business development, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Siltronic AG will propose a dividend of EUR 5.00 per share for 2018 to the company's Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2019. This corresponds to a total dividend payment of EUR 150 million. The payout ratio thus amounts to around 40 percent of the profit for the period attributable to the shareholders of Siltronic AG.
Sales in the region of the previous year and EBITDA margin slightly below previous year's level expected despite slow start into 2019
For Siltronic, 2019 got off to a slow start. Obviously, customers' inventories of finished goods have recently risen slightly. The company assumes that wafer area sold in the first half of 2019 will be lower than in the second half of 2018. Siltronic expects the market environment to recover in the second half of 2019.
For the year as a whole, Siltronic expects sales to be in the region of the previous year and an EBITDA margin slightly below the previous year's level.
For 2019, Siltronic expects to invest around EUR 350 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets. Apart from basic investments, projects already started will be completed on schedule in 2019. Additionally the 300 mm capacity will be expanded in 2020 on the basis of long-term contracts. In 2020, investments will decline significantly again compared with 2019.
Net cash flow for 2019 is expected to be clearly positive again, but due to the increased investments to be around EUR 100 million lower than in 2018.
“If one compares 2019 with the business performance of the last two years, the current year will develop more cautiously. However, we are convinced of the underlying long-term growth trend in the semiconductor industry due to the diverse end applications such as digitization, big data and electro-mobility,“ Dr. Christoph von Plotho continues.
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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).