FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German specialty chemicals maker Wacker Chemie (WCHG.DE) expects profits and sales to rise this year after the group reached a deal to keep on selling polysilicon to solar companies in China, its single most important market.
Wacker Chemie is the world’s No.2 maker of polysilicon - a key material needed to make solar cells - and the Greater China region, including Taiwan, accounted for 24 percent of its full-year 2013 sales.
Wacker Chemie said on Tuesday that Chinese authorities had agreed not to charge the group anti-dumping tariffs on European-made polysilicon as long as it did not sell the material below a specific minimum price in Asia’s biggest economy.
“The agreed solution is in the best interests of both Wacker and China’s solar industry. We can continue supplying our high-quality material at competitive prices to our Chinese customers, who need it to produce highly efficient solar modules,” Wacker Chemie Chief Executive Rudolf Staudigl said in a statement.
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.
Wacker Chemie said it expected its sales to rise by a medium single-digit percentage this year after falling about 3 percent in 2013, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would to grow by at least 10 percent after a 15 percent decline last year.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts on average expect sales to rise by 8 percent this year, while EBITDA is seen growing by nearly a third.
Wacker Chemie also said it would propose to pay shareholders a dividend of 0.50 euros per share for last year, down from 0.60 euros paid for 2012 and below the 0.75 euro I/B/E/S estimate.
Shares in Wacker Chemie were indicated to open 0.4 percent higher, according to pre-market data.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan