The Singulus Technologies AG was able to increase sales by 32.6 % from € 68.8 million to € 91.2 million in the past business year. The operating result (EBIT) of € -1.2 million was in-line with the forecast (previous year: € -17.4 million). The earnings before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at € 0.7 million were slightly positive (previous year: € -14.14 million).
In the year under review the gross profit margin improved substantially by 9.3 percentage points compared with the prior year and amounted to 28.1 % (previous year: 18.8 %). An improved utilization rate, in particular in the Solar segment, contributed materially to this development. As of year-end on December 31, 2017, the liquid funds increased by € 8.7 million to € 27.2 million.
The order backlog as of December 31, 2017 stood at € 106.7 million, around the prior-year level of € 109.9 million. Overall, the order intake came to € 88.0 million in 2017 (previous year: € 152.1 million). On a positive note, additional contracts with a volume exceeding € 30 million have already been signed and the company expects to receive respective prepayments shortly.
The number of staff in Germany as of the year-end increased to 279 (previous year: 278 employees). Overall, the global headcount within the SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Group declined slightly to 315 (previous year: 318 employees).
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer, comments: "In the business year 2017 we have improved our sales by more than 30 % and attained leading positions within the international competition in key segments of the photovoltaics market. Our company has grown again and we were able to further expand our business activities. We are determined to successfully continue this growth path in the current business year 2018 as well."
The major project started with CNBM in 2016 is progressing according to the receipt of the agreed prepayments. Currently, the machines for the site in Meishan are produced and will be delivered this year.
For the current business 2018, pursuant to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), Singulus Technologies forecasts a significant increase in sales for the Group compared with the previous year. Sales are expected to be in a low triple-digit million range. The EBIT for the business year 2018 is forecast to be positive in a mid-single-digit million range. The main sales and earnings drivers originate from the Solar segment and here mainly from a few major project orders for investments in production lines for CIGS thin-film solar modules. The forecasts for the annual targets for 2018 mainly rely on the assumption that to a large extent the delivery contracts already booked in the order backlog will be completed as scheduled within the course of the business year 2018.
Singulus Technologies' strategy is to take advantage and to expand its existing core competencies. The processes include coating technology, surface finishing, wet-chemical and thermal production processes.
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck adds: "In the past business year 2017, we have extensively reviewed opportunities to enter the growth market of medical technology and have made a respective strategic decision. With the order intake for a new processing machine for the treatment of contact lenses, this important step was realized in November 2017."
Singulus Technologies aims to extensively expand the work area of medical technology. In the division of surface treatment, additional applications, e.g. for the automotive sector, are tested to take advantage of the existing market opportunities. The goal for the next couple of years is to introduce additional machine concepts for various new markets to further diversify the company from a sales market perspective.
At a glance - consolidated key figures 2017 - 2016