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Unedited press release follows:
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Will Intensify Expansion of Existing Business Operations and of New Work Areas in the Years 2013/2014
Kahl am Main, March 27, 2013 – In the course of the annual balance sheet press conference SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG (SINGULUS) publishes its strategy for 2013/2014 as well as the final financial results for the business year 2012.
In 2013/2014 SINGULUS will focus on the strategic further development of the existing product portfolio and will pursue a clear forward-looking strategy.
Strategy and outlook in the core segments
In the future, Blu-ray Discs with a storage volume of 100 GB will be required as a storage medium for movie content for 4K television sets with Ultra High Resolution (3.840 x 2.160 pixels) and will therefore extend the life cycle of the Blu-ray memory technology. SINGULUS will develop a new generation of production machines for the manufacturing of Blu-ray Discs with a higher storage capacity.
In the Semiconductor division, on the one hand SINGULUS works on new applications of vacuum coating technology with the TIMARIS and ROTARIS lines, such as for sensors, inductors and thin-film write/read heads. On the other hand, the TIMARIS machine platform will be further progressed for the projected industrial mass production of MRAM wafers and offered to potential customers. For both goals there are specific projects which are being discussed.
A particular focus rests on the market for solar cells. The sales market for machines for the production of photovoltaic cells will remain difficult for some time.
The strategy to take advantage of the know-how gained in the area of optical storage media relating to vacuum coating, automation and process integration and to use this for the development of new, efficient solar production equipment has proven to be absolutely productive and correct. While the market for production equipment of photovoltaic cells slumped by two thirds globally in 2012 compared with the previous year, in 2012 SINGULUS was still able to achieve about 80 % of the order intake of the previous year and therefore expanded its relative market share. Numerous new machine developments were sold in 2012. SINGULUS is increasingly consulted as a development partner for highly efficient solar cells and chosen as the preferred machine supplier by leading solar cells producers for the resulting machines.
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, comments: “We are one of the few companies in the solar market able to both equip efficiently running factories with our machines for the manufacturing of CIS/CIGS thin-film modules as well as to offer single machines and turn-key lines for the production of next generation crystalline solar cells.”
With important key orders from Germany, Korea, India, South Africa and the US, SINGULUS has occupied relevant starting points in the past year for additional projects in the coming years. On the basis of the development in the past business year the strengthening of the position as one of the leading technology provider in the future will be continued, which will position SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES in a way so that amid recurring investment activities the company will be present at key customers with its leading concepts and processes.
Solar will once again become a growth market for SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES in the future, while the company will benefit disproportionately on the basis of the completed developments.
Overview business results 2012
Sales amounted to € 108.6 million and were therefore below previous year’s level (previous year: € 160.0 million). The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to € -60.5 million (previous year: € 6.7 million). Adjusted for restructuring and impairment charges as well as for other extraordinary expenses in the amount of € 43.9 million in total, an adjusted EBIT of € -16.6 million resulted for the business year 2012. The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and appreciation (EBITDA) amounted to € -33.8 million in the business year 2012 (previous year: € 18.5 million). On an adjusted basis the EBITDA for 2012 came to € -5.2 million (previous year: € 18.5 million).
The shareholders’ equity in the Group declined by € 60.7 million in the course of the period under review and stood at € 77.2 million as of December 31, 2012 (previous year: € 137.9 million). The equity ratio stands at 37.4 % following 75.6 % in the previous year, which is caused by the negative net result and the increased balance sheet total, amongst others due to the rise in liquid funds from the issuance of the bond.
In the business year 2012 the operating cash flow of the Group of € -0.4 million was negative and thus lower than in the previous year (previous year: € 7.5 million). This decline is due to the significantly lower business activities in the group of companies. The results burdening extraordinary charges only resulted in cash outflows and therefore to a burden of the operating cash flow to a small extent so far.
In total, cash and cash equivalents amounted to € 55.9 million overall at the end of the period under review. Furthermore, additional € 17.6 million were temporarily guaranteed in blocked accounts at that point in time and served as security for pre-payments received for current orders.
Further growth secured in the long-term through financing
Following SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES’ complete repayment of liabilities owed to business banks in 2011, the financing of the company was established on a solid, long-term basis with the issuance of a corporate bond in 2012 with a volume of € 60 million. Accordingly, the planned growth in the existing divisions as well as the expansion into new work areas are sufficiently financed.
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is a technology leader with its machines and equipment in the three applications areas Optical Disc, Semiconductor and Solar. SINGULUS expects to once again grow sales in 2013 compared with 2012 and projects to complete the business year with an overall slightly positive operating result (EBIT) in the Group. However, this is subject to substantial sales growth in the Solar segment.
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, remarks: “To strengthen the existing business activities, we will continue to target the development of innovative products and open new application areas and markets. Clearly, the strategic further development of the existing product portfolio is in the focus for the business year 2013”.
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES continues to expand its know-how in vacuum coating, the automation and process technology as well as the integration of manufacturing lines in order to develop new work areas. Other areas of applications are in the focus for a potential acquisition.