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Unedited press release follows:
Business Trends and Situation of the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group
• Quarterly sales slightly above prior-year level
• EBIT marginally improved compared with the same period one year ago
• Low order intake in the 1st quarter
• Positive development for Blu-ray production machines
• Development in the 1st quarter within expectations
• Slightly positive EBIT expected for the full-year 2013
Kahl am Main, May 8, 2013 – In the quarter under review the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group achieved slightly higher sales of € 22.8 million compared with the previous year (€ 16.0 million). Also the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € -4.9 million (previous year: € -5.7 million) improved moderately in comparison. The order intake in the quarter under review reached € 15.6 million (1st quarter 2012: € 55.7 million). In this context, the previous year was predominantly affected by a silicon solar production line with a total volume of € 20.2 million. Since the end of 2012 the order backlog declined to € 32.9 million (December 31, 2012: € 40.1 million). Overall, the course of business in the 1st quarter 2012 was in line with our expectations. The weak solar market as well as the seasonal trends in the Optical Disc segment have had a considerable impact on the trends in the quarter under review.
The increase in sales in the 1st quarter 2013 was mainly tied to a significant increase in business activities in the Semiconductor division. Sales were split among the segments Optical Disc with € 11.6 million (previous year: € 10.8 million), Solar with € 7.1 million (previous year: € 5.2 million) as well as Semiconductor with € 4.1 million (previous year: € 0.0 million). The headcount within the SINGULUS Group declined by 16 from 400 employees as of December 31, 2012 to 384 employees as of March 31, 2013.
We are the only engineering company worldwide offering production machines for 50 gigabyte Blu-ray Discs. For SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES the further developments at Nintendo, the expected launch and the potential market success of a Microsoft Xbox with built-in Blu-ray Disc drive are important. The reason for this is the importance of the Blu-ray Disc as a medium for the respective games and the resulting demand for additional production machines by SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES.
Overall, the project activities for Blu-ray Disc production equipment have picked up considerably. Orders from Asia and America were received in the past days and weeks.
From today’s perspective, the sales market for machines for the production of photovoltaic cells will remain difficult for some time. SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is increasingly consulted as a development partner for highly efficient solar cells and employed as a preferred machine supplier for the resulting equipment by leading solar cell manufacturers. As one of the few companies, with our production machines we are able to both equip efficiently working factories for the manufacturing of CIS/CIGS thin-film modules as well as single machines and turn-key lines for production of next-generation crystalline solar cells.
In 2012 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES was able to record the best order intake in its history for this segment with seven machines. The order backlog of these machines is currently being assembled by us and delivered to the customers. Our nano-coating technology offers a high potential in various areas of applications. Market studies by renowned research institutes predict strong growth for the coming years, especially for MRAM wafers. Here SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is at a very good starting point for the expected growth with its machines platform TIMARIS.
Outlook for the business year 2013
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is a technologic leader with its machines and equipment in the three application areas Optical Disc, Semiconductors and Solar. Currently we are expecting to once again grow sales in these segments in 2013 compared with 2012 and to conclude the business year with on overall slightly positive operating result (EBIT) for the Group. Including financing expenses a negative full-year result for the Group pursuant to IFRS would be incurred. However, this is based on a very significant rise in sales in the Solar segment. For the segments Optical Disc and Semiconductor we are projecting a rather modest increase in sales at present.
We broaden our product portfolio on the basis of our core competencies with both self-developed machines as well as equipment and intensify our efforts for organic growth. At the same time we are analyzing the markets and review acquisition opportunities for the targeted strengthening of our product portfolio. With the successful implementation of this strategy we expect to return to a growth path once again.