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Singulus' negative 9-month results are basis for restructuring operations

During the first nine months of the current business year, Singulus Technologies, the leading manufacturer of Blu-ray lines, recorded sales of €83.5 million, a substantial fall from the €121.8 million it generated a year ago.

The operating result EBIT (before extraordinary expenses) amounted to -€10.9 million in the first nine months (previous year: €6.3 million). Including extraordinary charges, the company recorded a negative EBIT of -€54.2 million and an EBITDA of -€29.9 million (previous year: €14.7 million).

The order intake in the first nine months of the business year 2012 amounted to €110.6 million, down from the previous year's €137.0 million. As of 30 September, the order backlog of €53.9 million is slightly above the prior-year level of €50.8 million.

Sales in the third quarter 2012 amounted to €39.9 million, compared to €57.2 million the previous year. Including extraordinary charges totaling €43.3 million, the operating result stood at -€41.8 million.

Due to the disappointing development of the Optical Disc division as well as the still difficult market situation for equipment for the production of solar cells, Singulus had to implement measures, which had an additional negative impact on the key financial figures.

The manufacturer is gradually implementing a structural transition from an optical disc equipment supplier to a leading provider for vacuum technology in different segments such as optical disc, solar and semiconductor. (Indeed, Singulus has just introduced a new universal sputter deposition machine to the market under the product name ROTARIS. The new system has been designed especially for R&D in the semiconductor industry and other more general applications. The ROTARIS will be introduced at the Semicon Japan trade fair in December 2012).

"Capacities have to be adjusted accordingly while investments in industries of the future and expansion into new work areas are being made," says the company. Due to the business situation the executive board decided on drastic measures for those segments to be restructured. In the Optical Disc segment this mainly affects the foreign subsidiaries and the product segment Mastering.

Also, the supply of machines for wet-chemical production at the subsidiary Singulus Stangl Solar GmbH is affected by the decline in the market for silicon-based solar cells. As a result, all components of the Solar segment supply chains are to be adjusted. This will translate into a sharp reduction of 40% in employees at the Fürstenfeldbruck site at the end of this business year.

"Singulus has good liquid funds and will use the funds in the coming years for internal and external growth," said Stefan Rinck, the company CEO. "Overall, the liquid funds increased by €47.6 million in the first nine months and amount to €65.4 million as of 30 September. The balance sheet continues to remain stable and is still very solid with an equity ratio of approximately 40%."

"Singulus Technologies is solidly financed for the future pointing to good prospects for breaking-even in Optical Disc, Solar and Semiconductor through growth through new business areas."

In unrelated developments, Singulus has reached an agreement with Doug Carson & Associates, Inc. (DCA) for the licensing of the US developer's Optical Disc Write Strategy Technology to be incorporated into the CrystalLine, Singulus' Blu-ray Disc mastering system.

Story filed 19.11.12

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