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Singulus achieves 2008 sales target, but analysts cautious

German optical disc replication machines and solar technology Singulus achieved sales amounting to €213 million for the financial year 2008 and thus met its own forecast (€210 million to €230 million).

At €226.4 million, the order intake for the full year 2008 was 11 % higher than the level of €203.8 million achieved in 2007. The order backlog of € 69.0 million also exceeded the previous-year total (€55.8 million) by 24 %.

However, in the fourth quarter of 2008 the order intake of €29.0 million was weak as expected. Blu-ray machines orders in the first two quarters of 2008 was significantly higher than estimated. The capacities required for Blu-ray in 2008 had largely been ordered by the end of June. Stefan A. Baustert, CEO of Singulus: “We had an unexpectedly high order intake for Blu-ray machines in the first half year. The sales of machines for CD and DVD production declined significantly in the second half of 2008. We expect Blu-ray to win further recognition internationally in 2009 and to gain in importance in subsequent years.”

Deutsche Bank is more cautious. Shares in Singulus fell 5% to the bottom of Frankfurt's technology index after the bank’s analsysts downgrades the stock to "sell" from "hold" and cuts its target price to 1.70 euros from 8.90 euros.
"After a tough year in 2008, we believe that things will get worse for Singulus before getting better," the brokerage writes in a note. "On the one hand, we see significantly weaker demand for CD/DVD replication equipment. Blu-ray, the successor format, however has yet to fill the revenue gap," they add.

Singulus will publish the full report for the 2008 financial year in Frankfurt on 27 March 2009.

Story filed 18.02.09

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