Order delays slow Singulus' return to profitability

While the PV equipment market more generally beginning to pick up, most manufacturers are still some way from being profitable. This is clearly evident in Singulus’ financial results from the first half of 2014, with sales of €30.1 million being registered, down from €49.2 million the previous year.

Singulus attributes this weak result to the poor performance of its Blu-ray equipment segment, although solar too remains “cautious.”

On the back of the weak earnings, Singulus registered a €12.5 million loss for H1 2014, almost double that of 2013.

Singulus’ head count remained the same as at the end of 2013. It had shed jobs from its crystalline silicon cell business in 2012.

“Although the course of business in the solar division is still cautious, not all of the expected order decisions have been made this year so far,” said Singulus CEO Stefan Rinck. “Here, we are well positioned for several investment projects with our products and we expect additional, larger order intake in the second half, which together with the existing orders should still make earnings contributions in the current year.”

Singulus reports that its order backlog increased to €39.7 million in H1 2014, up from €15.4 the previous year. This backlog increase is partly attributable to, “delays in order intake,” in the PV business unit, today’s statement reads.

Earlier in year, Singulus told pv magazine that its thin film manufacturing equipment portfolio is particularly attractive emerging PV markets. This is due, argues Singulus, to the high levels of domestic content that can be achieved through thin film manufacturing’s monolithic processes. Singulus launched a CIGS pilot line in South Africa earlier this year.

Due to the weak performance of both its PV and Blu-ray divisions, Singulus reports that it is unlikely to return to profit in 2014.