Singulus pins hopes on big CIGS orders after disappointing Q1

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Singulus Technologies, the German solar PV equipment manufacturer that underwent a restructuring process earlier this year, has posted anemic first quarter (Q1) sales figures for 2016.

The company registered Q1 sales of €12.8 million ($14.36 million) which, albeit slightly higher year-over-year than Q1 2015 (€12.6 million), masked a weak order intake and negative earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).

For the quarter, EBIT was €-5.8 million (Q1 2015: €-5.9 million) and order intake was a mere €10.4 million. In Q1 2015, order intake stood at €62.8 million, buoyed at the time by major orders for Singulus’ vacuum coating machines and SILEX II type process machines.

Further, the firm’s order backlog this year was comparatively barren, amounting to €22.9 million, compared to €64.2 million last year.

However, Singulus is confident that orders for its CIGS thin-film production tools – currently undergoing extensive negotiations and thus ineligible for inclusion in Q1’s figures – can be concluded soon, with “associated sales” from these discussions realized in the current business year, the company’s financial report said.

In February it was reported that a 300 MW CIGS equipment order had been placed for Singulus’ Cisaris selenization production tool by an unnamed solar manufacturer, although discussions are thought to still be at the negotiating stage.

That same month the company announced that its bondholders had approved a proposed debt-equity swap: a restructuring process that enabled Singulus to continue its operations. In its financial report, Singulus confirmed that the restructuring had generated a capital increase of €5.76 million via the issuance of 5,760,000 new bearer shares valued at €1 each.

For the current business year the company expects to generate sales in the range of €115 to €130 million, which would be an improvement on 2015. However, despite this projected increase, Singulus still expects a negative EBIT for the year, somewhere in the range of €-2 to €-6 million.