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Singulus Reports Q1 2015 Results, Cautious on Ultra HD Blu-ray

Singulus Technologies announced financial results for the first quarter of 2015.

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Unedited press release follows:

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Reports Figures for the First Quarter 2015

• Orders and order backlog in excess of € 60 million

• Revenue and EBIT at low level

• Liquidity € 28.8 million at March 31, 2015

• Near-balanced EBIT expected for 2015

• Solar market to develop positively

• Standard for ULTRA HD Blu-ray defined

Kahl am Main, May 21, 2015 – SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES received orders worth € 62.8 million in the period under review (previous year: € 14.1 million). The Solar segment posted orders amounting to more than € 50 million up until March 31, 2015. The order backlog showed a substantial rise on the 2014 year-end position to € 64.2 million (March 31, 2014: € 17.7 million). This is the highest order backlog figure of the past three years.

Due to the low order backlog at the end of last year, revenue for the 2015 reporting quarter for the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group reached only € 12.6 million (previous year: € 16.7 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € -5.9 million were consequently below the prior-year level (previous year: € -5.1 million). In the period under review the total operating expenses amounted to € 7.8 million and were thus € 1.2 million below the prior-year period (€ 9.0 million). This decrease is mainly a result of lower expenses for marketing and sales as well as for customer service.

Because of the received prepayments the operating cash flow for the Group reached € 5.7 million in Q1 2015, well up on the corresponding prior-year figure of € -7.5 million. Cash and cash equivalents in the Group in the first quarter amounted to € 28.8 million.

The employee total for the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group fell slightly from 352 employees at December 31, 2014 to 345 at March 31, 2015.

In the period under review SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES continued the repositioning of the company for securing the viability in the long term. These measures apply to the focus of the product portfolio and the positioning on new markets with high growth potential in which coating technology plays an important role, the streamlining of the corporate structure and the adjustment of the capital structure. The invitation for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) June 9, 2015 therefore includes several anticipatory resolutions to be voted for adoption at the AGM.

The economic outlook for the Solar segment has improved further. Worldwide demand for PV modules increased in 2014 and is expected to show a further rise in 2015. Most of the latest market studies anticipate a positive development in international solar markets and growing demand for PV modules. The market researcher IHS has forecasted worldwide growth in demand of 25 % for 2015. It envisages a rise in photovoltaic installations to approx. 55 GW. Investment in production systems is expected to increase in the wake of this.

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is currently working in the Optical disc segment on the basis, that demand for production systems for Blu-ray discs will show slight growth again in 2015. A few days ago the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) defined and published the standard for the new Blu-ray discs with a storage capacity of up to 100 GB. The licenses are set to be awarded this summer, and the first players could already be on show at the IFA. The new ULTRA HD Blu-ray discs consist of two to three layers and offer a storage capacity of 66 to 100 Gigabytes. Despite the opportunities arriving from the new format, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES` plans for sales of Blu-ray production systems are still cautious.

Positioning on new markets
The core expertise of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is the know how in vacuum thin-film technology, plasma engineering, wet-chemical processing as well as thermal processing.

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is working on expanding this expertise in its existing segments and transferring it to additional markets, and also on new ideas for innovative production solutions. SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES performs the function of innovation driver in areas of technology that offer high growth potential. These include sustainable energies, the entire entertainment sector, advanced mobility, semiconductor technology and consumer goods of all kinds.

First successes of this strategy are already visible: for example, with the DECOLINE II a fully-automated coating line for plastic parts was successfully developed and marketed. The strategic repositioning will now be progressed vigorously.

Outlook for the 2015 financial year
For the business year 2015 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES plans to double its sales compared with the previous year, in particular due to the projections for the Solar segment. Thus, the company is expected to nearly break-even on an EBIT level in 2015. In the 1st quarter 2015 the company already realized an order intake exceeding € 60 million and therefore reached an important milestone of its plans.

To achieve the financial full-year targets for 2015 it will be decisive how sales develop and to what extent the individual segmental targets will be achieved. This holds particularly true for the segments Solar and Optical Disc. Nevertheless, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES’ challenge in the business year 2015 will be to set up new work areas and lead them to success in addition to securing stable order intake and sales in the core segments.

Dr. Ing. Stefan Rinck, CEO of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, remarked: “The support of our shareholders for the authorizations to be proposed at the Annual General Meeting gives the room for maneuver on the road to reorganizing our capital structure. This will provide SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES with the necessary stability to be able to realize the potential of existing and new markets in the course of the initiated strategic repositioning in the future.”

1st quarter 2014 2015
Sales in million € 16.7 12.6
Order intake in million € 14.1 62.8
Order backlog as of March 31 in million € 17.7 64.2
EBIT in million € -5.1 -5.9
EBITDA in million € -3.8 -5.0
Net profit/loss in million € -6.0 -6.9
Earnings per share -0.12 -0.14
Number of employees as of March 31 370