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Singulus Reports Q1 2014 Results, Expects Strong Blu-ray Demand

Singulus Technologies announced financial results for the first quarter of 2014.

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Edited press release follows:

Business Trends and Situation of the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group

• Development in the 1st quarter in-line with expectations

• Blu-ray discs market continues to grow

• Coating machine for PERC delivered in Europe

• First call-off by M•Cells for coating machine for PERC solar cells in China

• Orders for semiconductor machines received

• Positive EBIT for 2014 expected

Kahl am Main, May 15, 2014 – The SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG (SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES) reports the results of the 1st quarter 2014. As expected, the 1st quarter of the business year 2014 was quiet. The key financial figures remained on a similar level as in the same quarter one year ago.

In the quarter under review sales in the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group amounted to € 16.7 million (previous year: € 22.8 million). The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € -5.1 million remained at a comparable level to 2013 (previous year: € -4.9 million). The order intake in the quarter under review of € 14.1 million (1st quarter 2013: € 15.6 million) was similar to 2013. The order backlog declined slightly compared with the year-end 2013 and stood at € 17.7 million (December 31, 2013: € 20.3 million).

Overall, the course of business was in-line with expectations for the 1st quarter 2014. The still weak photovoltaics market as well as the seasonal trend in the Optical Disc segment had a significant impact on the development of the quarter under review.

The number of employees in the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group rose slightly from 362 employees as of December 31, 2013 to 370 employees as of March 31, 2014.

Optical Disc
The development in the Optical Disc segment depends on innovations and on growth of the international media markets as well as the order cycle of large international disc producers. The production of Blu-ray Discs during the course of the year is always seasonally strong towards the end of the year. Following a favorable trend for the Christmas activities in 2013, in the first half of the new year dispositions are made for the current year 2014.

Therefore, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES expects larger orders in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Once again, the largest media market, the US, rose with double-digit rates in 2013 and thus offers a positive base for 2014.

Global Blu-ray Disc Production (Mln. Discs)

Source: Futuresource, 11/2013

Following weak years several studies now predict a slowly starting upturn for 2014 and a more favorable development of the solar market. Generally, the assessments of these studies seem to be confirmed by numerous project talks for the area of CIGS thin-film solar technology as well as for upgrades for PERC solar cells. On part of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES, the first coating machines for PERC solar cells were delivered in recent days to a European costumer. Additional, new orders were recorded for the wet-chemical segment.

The Chinese cell manufacturer M•Cells and SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES had concluded a framework contract with an option for 16 SINGULAR XP machines in 2013. After the period under review SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES received the first call-off order from M•Cells for a coating machine for PERC solar cells. The SINGULAR XP vacuum coating equipment is intended for the rear side passivation of crystalline PERC solar cells in the production of 500 MW highly efficient multi-cells.

In January 2014 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES received two new orders from Asia and the US for semiconductor vacuum coating machines. Both orders are intended for equipment in connection with MRAM applications. The two orders confirm SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES in its expectation of a continuing favorable business trend in the work area of nano-deposition.

Strategy and outlook for 2014
For the business year 2014 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES projects a slight increase in sales and in the operating result (EBIT). The current financing structure of the company via the issued bond results in an interest expense, which continues to impact the results and could lead to a negative net profit pursuant to IFRS after all.

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES has continuously progresses in the past couple of years through its technologic know-how and is thus well positioned in the three existing segments. The goal is to develop innovative products on the basis of the core competencies of nano- and vacuum-coating as well as thermal and wet-chemical process technology to also open new markets.

In summary, with the positioning of our products and the targeted expansion of our product range, we expect relevant order intake in all segments, in particular the Solar segment.

Consolidated key figures SINGULUS pursuant to IFRS (unaudited)

1st quarter   2013 2014
Sales in million € 22.8 16.7
Order intake in million € 15.6 14.1
Order backlog as of March 31 in million € 32.9 17.7
EBIT in million € -4.9 -5.1
EBITDA in million € -3.5 -3.8
Net profit/loss in million € -5.9 -6.0
Earnings per share -0.12 -0.12
Number of employees as of March 31