Singulus forecasts return to profit in 2017, solar segment to drive sales

Singulus is provided more detailed sales and earnings forecasts, as it attempts to convince bondholders to approve a credit-equity swap. It expects to register sales of between €115 and €130 million (US$130 – 147 million) in 2016, with solar comprising the vast bulk of its sales.

The German company will require bondholders to accept the “restructuring of the corporate bond” put on the table by the company earlier this year to meet the forecast sales.

The forecast for sales in 2016 and 2017 are well above those registered in past two years, and Singulus expects to achieve: “A slightly positive operating result (EBIT) and correspondingly improved earnings before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).” Singulus recorded sales of €84 million (US$95 million) in 2015, up from €66.8 million (US$75.5 million) in 2014.

The forecast is based on the assumption that sales to solar manufacturers will continue to grow. Singulus expects “extensive orders” for its thin film solar production equipment, namely its Vistaris and Cisaris vacuum tooling, and continuing orders for its Silux II wet chemistry equipment, which is particularly well suited to heterojunction PV cell production.

Singulus supplied its thin film equipment to troubled Chinese producer Hanergy for CIGS solar module production in 2015, along with Silux II wet benches to an unnamed North American manufacturer.

The optical disk production equipment segment has been a particular headache for Singulus of late, with significant orders not forthcoming. It does expect orders for its next generation Blu-Ray disk Bluline III systems in 2016. The optical disk segment is expected to account for 20% of equipment sales in 2016.

Singulus has forecast an operating (EBIT) loss of between €2 and €3 million (US$2.25 – $3.4 million) in 2016.

The company has scheduled a second noteholders’ meeting for Monday, February 15 where the concept for Singulus’ restructuring of the outstanding bond will be put to vote again. The first vote, held on 18 January, did not reach 50% quorum of the outstanding bearer notes by value. This second meeting sets the quorum lower, at 25% of the outstanding notes by value.

The following day, Tuesday, February 16, an extraordinary general meeting will be held to discuss reaching a resolution on the capital measures required to undertake the restructuring process.

The February issue of pv magazine features an interview with Singulus CFO Markus Ehret, who discusses the company’s restructuring process and its hopes for a brighter solar future.