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Forecast met, but Singulus expects better this year

Optical disc manufacturing tool maker Singulus Technologies Group met its own forecast for the business year 2007. Adjusted for ETA Optik and BESS, which were deconsolidated in the meantime, sales amounted to €229.5 million (previous year: €283.1 million). The operating result (EBIT) came to €1.1 million in the year under review (previous year: €4.0 million).

The gross profit margin rose significantly in the business year 2007. The increase to 29.3% (previous year: 25.2%) was mainly due to the high share of sales in high-margin activities in the segments Semiconductor and Solar. "This high gross margin proves that we enter the year 2008 strengthened and that we expect good margins for the future in particular due to the order intake in the Solar division as well as the orders for Blu-ray machines," comments CEO Stefan A. Baustert.

The order book for the full-year 2007 totaled €203.8 million (previous year: €319.0 million) and was below the previous year's level in the 4th quarter 2007 at €36.2 million (previous year: €46.0 million). The fall in orders is attributed to the format dispute between Blu-ray and HD DVD as well as demand weaknesses in CD and DVD machines. The order backlog amounted to €55.8 million as of 31 December 2007 (previous year: €81.5 million).
Since Blu-ray victory, projected activities in the Blu-ray disc segments have picked up markedly, said the company.

Late last month Singulus introduced its new Dual Layer Blu-ray disc production machine BLULINE II to nearly 300 guests from all over the world during the company's house fair at its main site in Kahl am Main, Germany. This has led to initial orders.

Singulus expects sustained business from its other main activity – solar technology – where it partners with Stangl. “Both companies perfectly complement each other in order to be able to offer a broad product range of machines and equipment for the photovoltaics industry in the next couple of years.” While Stangl focuses on wet-chemical processes, Singulus' core competence is in physical coating technology.

“With the just now emerging Blu-ray business and the successful entry into the solar sector, we have taken a huge step towards our target of providing a solid starting point again for future growth,” says Singulus.

Story filed 29.03.08

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