Singulus plays the waiting game as large orders booked too late for H1 financials

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The cut-and-dry precision inherent with Singulus’s solar tooling equipment does not, the German firm has discovered, always translate too readily into the financial realm.

Buoyed earlier this year by a large order from China National Building Materials (CNBM) for around €110 million ($125 million) of CIGS equipment, a later-than-expected order placement has meant that those figures must remain absent from official first half (H1) financials.

The delay means that Singulus’ order intake and backlog for H1 looks incredibly healthy; its gross sales, on the other hand, actually limped in below last year’s figures. However, the general air is one of positivity, because even with these large, delayed orders off the books, sales of €24.6 million for H1 2016 were only slightly below the €29.2 million recorded in H1 2015, while this year’s H1 order intake of €131.5 million is almost double that recorded last year (€73.1 million).

Singulus’ order backlog, as of June 30, stood at €133.5, which has not helped H1 2016 EBITDA (€-8.1 million), but does add a dose of optimism after a chastening few years. The recent restructuring process completed, Singulus recorded a restructuring income of €41.2 million, which was reported as financial income of €38.6 million. During the year so far, the number of salaried employees at the firm has contracted slightly, falling from 335 to 333.

In early June, Singulus revoked its financial forecast for 2016 on the back of the delayed order from CNBM. Hence, the company states, "the amount of sales expected in the current business year strongly depends on the course of the implementation of the order [from CNBM]. At present, we anticipate that a major share of sales and earnings for the 2016 business year will not be realized until the business year 2017."

Singulus will review and publish the sales and earnings forecasts for the business year 2016 in the course of H2 2016.