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Unedited press release follows:
• Semiconductor segment above forecasts, Solar segment in line with expectations, delays for orders in the Optical Disc segment
• External growth in the spotlight
• Key figures for the 1st half 2012 below prior-year levels
• Positive full-year earnings still goal but challenging
Kahl am Main, August 14, 2012 – SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG’s (SINGULUS) key financial figures in the 1st half of 2012 were heavily impacted by the mixed trends in the various segments. Currently, the sustained delays in the order intake in the Optical Disc division for production machines of the BLULINE II type are having an impact on the key figures. The Solar division is in line with expectations. The Semiconductor segment has developed very favorably. So far, six machines with an order volume of more than € 20 million have been sold in 2012.
In the 1st half of the business year 2012 an order intake of € 87.0 million (previous year: € 115.0 million) was achieved. In particular the order intake in the 2nd quarter was below the level achieved in the same period one year ago due to delays in orders received for Blu-ray production machines. As of June 30, 2012 the order backlog accordingly stood at € 70.2 million, which is below the € 85.9 million achieved in the prior-year period. In the first six months of the year 2012 SINGULUS realized sales of € 43.6 million (previous year: € 64.6 million), thereof € 27.6 million in the 2nd quarter (previous year: € 44.8 million).
In the 1st half of 2012 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at € -12.4 million (previous year: € -0.2 million). In the quarter under review the EBIT was also negative and came to € -6.7 million (previous year: € 2.3 million). The EBIT of the 1st half of 2012 includes extraordinary expenses in the amount of € 2.6 million. These mainly concern burdens from the legal challenge in connection with the merger of the HamaTech AG as well as losses from foreign exchange translations. The prior-year period positive included one-off effects in the amount of € 2.4 million as other operating income. The EBIT in the 1st half of 2012 adjusted for these one-off effects amounted to € -9.8 million compared with € -2.6 million in the same period one year ago.
Optical Disc segment
The media market still displays strong seasonality and is therefore generally always quieter in the 1st half of the year. The orders for Blu-ray production machines in the current business year were partly postponed from the usual order months to late summer, which is due to the changed planning of the big Hollywood studios in the US, amongst others.
“For 2012, Futuresource projects a growth rate around 35 % for the number of produced Blu-ray Discs with movie content. Accordingly, Blu-ray will continue to establish itself as the format of the future”, comments Dr. Stefan Rinck, CEO of the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG.
SINGULUS expects to receive additional orders for BLULINE II machines in the next couple of weeks, which will still make positive sales and earnings contributions in the current business year.
Together with the sales share from the service activities we expect SINGULUS to deliver good earnings contributions here in the next couple of years.
Despite the difficult market environment SINGULUS was able to achieve some important success in the past couple of months. However, overall the solar market is characterized by substantial uncertainties due to excess capacities. Nevertheless, due to political reasons numerous developing countries are also considering to become independent of international influences in terms of the energy supply. In particular renewable energies, and here photovoltaics, are at the forefront. The value-added is intended to remain in the developing countries.
SINGULUS is adapting the Solar segment to the current market conditions. On the one hand, this includes cost reductions which will have a positive impact in the 2nd half of the year and the following business year. On the other hand, select key technologies are further developed, such as for example the coating of cell rear panels, wet-chemical processes for new crystalline high-performance cells as well as new coating equipment for CIGS thin-film modules. Despite the difficult market environment SINGULUS sees opportunities to successfully acquire new photovoltaic projects and to receive corresponding orders in the 2nd half of 2012 and in the business year 2013. With these orders SINGULUS positions itself as a powerful technology supplier for the upcoming investment cycle in the photovoltaics sector.
Currently, SINGULUS has seven TIMARIS vacuum coating systems in the order backlog. For the business year 2012, the order intake amounts to a total exceeding € 20 million. Correspondingly, more machines were sold in the first half of 2012 than in the previous three business years together.
The projections for this segment for the current year 2012 are significantly exceeded. SINGULUS is now expecting positive segmental earnings in the current business year following a negative result in the previous business year. Due to the inquiries from potential customers and the promising talks about concrete projects the company is expecting additional conclusions of contracts in the coming months.
SINGULUS is the leading supplier for vacuum coating machines for MRAM wafer, write/read heads and other semiconductor applications. In particular for the upcoming industrial manufacturing of MRAM wafers, we are excellently positioned with our machines.
To strengthen SINGULUS’ existing business activities the Executive Board elaborated a detailed portfolio strategy and is currently reviewing concrete acquisition opportunities, which can be integrated into the existing segment and present core competencies.
The next couple of weeks provide the possibility for us to receive additional orders, which can still make a positive earnings contribution in the business year 2012. Against the background of the Euro-crisis and the uncertain global economy we regard it increasingly more challenging to achieve our expressed expectation of positive full-year results, however.