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Friday, October 26, 2012
Singulus Adjusts Full-Year Targets For 2012

Following lower than expected sales for semiconductor, solar and optical disc machinery, German equipment manufacturer Singulus implemented measures, which had a negative impact on the company's key financial figures.

Singulus said the development of its three main business segments - Semiconductor, Solar and Optical Disc - were mixed in the current business year. Although the company's semiconductor segment has developed favorably, the company's solar division business activities were difficult due to the lack of market recovery in 2012. In addition, Singulus does not expect large investments in Blu-ray production equipment for this year.

All these have a negative impact on the development of Singulus' business results for the year 2012.

The company's Executive Board has resolved drastic measures. In the Optical Disc segment this mainly affects the company's foreign subsidiaries and the product segment "Mastering". Furthermore, the work area of machines for wet-chemical production steps at the subsidiary SINGULUS STANGL SOLAR GmbH ("Wet-Chemical") is affected by the decline in the market for silicon-based solar cells. Accordingly, at the end of the business year 2012 Singulus will reduce the headcount at its Furstenfeldbruck site by about 40 %.

"The impairment review of all balance sheet items resulted in provisions, write-offs on inventories and on accounts receivable as well as write-downs in the amount of €43.3 million for the current quarter 2012" Singulus said. "The majority of the necessary balance sheet adjustments do not result in additional cash outflows. SINGULUS has sufficient liquid funds. The balance sheet continues to remain stable and is still very solid with an equity ratio of approximately 40 %," the company added.

For 2012, Singulus expects sales of about €83.5 million (previous year: €121.8 million) for the first nine months and a negative result of about €10.9 million (previous year: €6.3 million) excluding the aforementioned extraordinary charges. The order intake in the first nine months stood at €110.6 million (previous year: €137.0 million). The order backlog amounted to €53.9 million as of September 30, 2012 (previous year: €50.8 million). Due to the trends in the Optical Disc segment, Singulus expects sales for the full-year 2012 to also be in a range from €100 to 115 million (previous year: €160.0 million). This will lead to an overall negative result including extraordinary charges in a range from - €54 to 56 million for 2012.

Singulus plans to gradually implement a structural change from a pure supplier of machines in Optical Disc to a provider for vacuum technology in different segments such as Optical Disc, Solar and Semiconductor.

The company says it is able to finance larger projects in the Solar segment, expand its partnerships with producers of thin-film solar cells, develop new products in the Solar division and also develop manufacturing equipment for the next generation of Blu-ray Discs.

Since the market for Blu-ray Disc continues to grow at double-digit rates in 2012, Singulus expects stable sales and earnings contributions again.

In the thin-film technology the company says its CIS/CIGS SINGULUS is excellently positioned, with larger investment projects to be scheduled for 2013.

The company's semiconductor division will also make positive earnings contributions this year. "The potential of the various application areas for the machines suggests a further uptrend in the coming business years," Singulus added.

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