Growth in the solar industry saw German machine producer, Singulus Technologies AG, raise its sales in 2015, which resulted in a reduced loss for the company. After approving a debt restructuring in early 2016, the firm now plans to focus its business activities more acutely on the solar market, which it hopes will make it profitable in the coming years.
Big news for Singulus in 2015 were two major sales in its Solar division, which helped it achieve sales of 83.7 million (US$95 million), up from 66.8 million (US$75.5 million) in 2014, representing a 25.3% increase. Sales in other areas of its business decreased.
After suffering large EBIT and net profit loses in 2014, -49.1 million and -51.6 million, respectively, the increase in sales saw the company narrow these margins to -34.5 million EBIT and -43.3 million net profit in 2015. Singulus saw this as a consequence of the growth in the solar market, which it believes will continue.
This is one of the reasons that a restructuring of the corporate bond was proposed last year, so that the company could continue to supply production equipment to the solar industry. Board members and shareholders voted in favor of the restructuring measure in February 2016, which will see a large portion of Singulus debt swapped for shares in the company.
With the restructuring now due to go ahead along with predictions of continued growth in the solar industry, Singulus expects sales of between 115 million and 130 million (US$130 to 147 million) in 2016, of which it expects its solar business to account for 70%. This would see the negative operating margin (EBIT) significantly reduced to between -2 million to -6 million, and a balanced to slightly positive EBITDA.
In the early part of 2016, Singulus began negotiations for extensive orders of production machines for thin-film solar modules. The company is expecting these orders to be realized, while also expecting continued growth in the solar industry, which it hopes will put the company in a strong position in the near future.