Wacker Predicts Record Sales in 2011 as It Invests $1.3 Billion

Wacker Chemie AG, the German maker of silicon wafers for semiconductors, forecast record sales and said it plans to invest about 950 million euros ($1.3 billion) this year.

Revenue in the first two months “clearly” increased from the year-earlier period and if current trends continue, sales in 2011 would exceed 5 billion euros, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. That compares with 4.75 billion euros last year.

Wacker Chemie is budgeting for the strongest growth coming from Asia markets. Plans to expand its Siltronic division coincide with a potential gain from the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan that has depleted production of polysilicon, a material used in the solar and semiconductor industries.

“Wacker might be one of a few chemical companies with positive spill-over effects from Japan,” said Peter Spengler, an analyst at DZ Bank. “The net effects for Siltronic are hard to calculate since not only Japanese producers are out of business but clients as well.”

Global supply of lithium-ion batteries, substrates for chips and power-supply capacitors may be the worst-hit technology industries following last week’s earthquake in Japan, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. said.

Japan makes almost 40 percent of the world’s electronics and audio-visual components, according to Daiwa. Production has been suspended at some factories in northern Japan because of the damage caused by the 9.0 magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami. It could take one to three months for output to recover fully, the Daiwa report said.

Wacker, which is expanding capacity at its Burghausen, Germany facility, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization almost doubled to 1.19 billion euros last year. Shares of the company declined 0.4 percent to

146.25 euros as of 9:03 a.m. in Frankfurt.

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