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Unedited press release follows:
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Significantly Reduces Losses – Positive EBIT Target for 2013
• Important key figures for the 1st half 2013 above prior-year levels
• Demand for Blu-ray significantly above plans
• Additional order intake for BLULINE II after completion of quarter
• Weak order intake for Solar
Kahl am Main, August 13, 2013 – The key financial figures of the 1st half 2013 of the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG (SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES) have improved compared with the same period one year ago due to the increased order intake for production machines for the BLULINE II type in the Optical Disc segment and the existing order backlog in the Semiconductor and Solar divisions.
Dr. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer of the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, comments: “We are pleased that the volume sales of our Blu-ray machines have picked up considerably again. The markets for Blu-ray Discs continue to perform favorably in 2013. Accordingly, in May 2013 the Digital Entertainment Group announced a growth for Blu-ray Discs sales for the leading US market of approximately 30 % compared with the prior-year period 2012.”
In the first six months of 2013 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES overall achieved slightly higher sales than in the comparable period for 2012. Sales for the half-year amounted to € 49.2 million (previous year: € 43.6 million). In the 2nd quarter € 26.4 million were achieved (previous year: € 27.6 million). While the order intake in the 1st half 2012 amounted to € 87.0 million due to a major order in the Solar segment, order intake with a total volume of € 48.8 million was recorded in the course of the 1st half of the business year 2013. The order intake in the 2nd quarter amounted to € 33.2 million, which was slightly above the prior-year level of € 31.3 million. As of June 30, 2013 the order backlog accordingly stood at € 39.7 million, which is below the € 70.2 million achieved in the prior-year period.
The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) has improved compared with the prior year. In the 1st half of 2013 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at € -6.5 million (previous year: € -12.4 million). In the quarter under review the EBIT was slightly negative and came to € -1.6 million (previous year: € -6.7 million).
Due to the implemented streamlining of the international activities as well as due to the cost reduction measures in the area of wet-chemical machines at our site in Fürstenfeldbruck, the number of employees in the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group declined from 444 employees as of June 30, 2012 to 362 employees as of June 30, 2013.
Business trends and market development Optical Disc
The globally rising penetration of the Blu-ray Disc results in significantly improved demand for production machines in the current year compared with the previous year. Until June 30, 2013 more production systems were sold than in the prior-year period. Furthermore, additional BLULINE machines were also sold after the completion of the half-year. The machines will be delivered worldwide, so that our customers will be able to produce correspondingly in particular for the upcoming Christmas activities.
Business trends and market development Solar
The market for photovoltaics continues to remain difficult. Against the backdrop of this difficult market environment, the development of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES’ Solar division falls short of our expectations.
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is in close contact with customers, which plan investments in the set-up of new cell manufacturing lines or so-called upgrades of existing production lines. In particular, project talks with renowned customers in Asia, the Middle East, South- and Central America and especially in South Africa should be highlighted. However, so far no major order intakes were realized in the 1st half of 2013.
Business trends and market development Semiconductor
In the 1st half of 2013 SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES intensively progressed the assembly and completion of the machines ordered in the year 2012. In the meantime all machines are in the commissioning stage or will be delivered in the 2nd half of 2013. Talks with major customers are at a project stage and are expected to result in new order intake in the future.
If the MRAM memory components will establish themselves in the next couple of years due to their specific advantages, the transition towards the industrial mass production is expected. For the expected market of new MRAM wafer SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES is currently working on presenting new machine concepts, which satisfy the demand for more efficient ultra-high-vacuum coating machines with an increased wafer capacity.
Outlook for the business year 2013
We are currently anticipating to once again grow sales in the segments Optical Disc, Solar and Semiconductor in 2013 compared with 2012 and expect to complete the business year in the Group with an overall slightly positive operating result (EBIT). However, adjusting for financing expenses a slightly negative net result for the Group pursuant to IFRS would result. To achieve the growth in sales in the Solar division projected in our forecasts it is required to achieve a corresponding, significant order intake in the 3rd quarter 2013.
To strengthen and further develop the existing business areas the company pursued the targeted development of new products and application areas based on its core competencies in order to open new markets with this. This strategic further development of the existing product portfolio by internal measures is in the focus in the business year 2013. At the same time we are reviewing reasonable acquisition opportunities to strengthen the sustainable development at SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES.
With the consistent and successful implementation of this strategy we expect a return to a long-term growth path once again.