For the first nine months of 2017, German equipment manufacturer Singulus reported sales of € 63.6 million ($ 73.9 million), which is significantly up from the last year’s € 36.7 million ($ 42.6 million). Meanwhile, on the operating basis (EBIT), the company realized a slightly positive result of € 0.4 million ($ 0.46 million), bouncing back from the last year’s € -14.8 million ($ -17 million).
Order backlog, however, stood at € 53.4 million ($ 62 million), well below the prior-year level of € 144.1 million ($ 167.5 million), which reflected a major order from the Chinese state-owned enterprise China National Building Materials (CNBM) with a volume of around € 110 million.
In the course of the first nine months of the business year 2017, the gross profit margin improved substantially compared to the previous year, which, among other factors, resulted from a higher utilization rate.
For the ongoing year, the manufacturer expects sales in a range from € 90 to 100 million, significantly up from the last year’s € 68.8 million ($ 80 million). Following on from last year’s EBIT loss of 17.7 million, 2017’s operating result may be in the range between € +2 million to € -3 million ($ + 2.3 to $ – 3.5 million), making it possible for the company to still achieve the breakeven point this year.
The company’s key customer CNBM has in the meantime begun the assembly of four production sites for CIGS solar thin-film modules, after it had placed two orders last year, so Singulus expects another prepayment before the year’s end. Currently, CNBM is negotiating with Singulus the orders for two of these manufacturing sites.
Meanwhile, in the market for crystalline cell technology, Singulus focuses on innovative high-performance cells of the next generation, such as heterojunction solar cells (HJT), and has for that reason already established a joint venture with two Chinese heterojunction companies Golden Concord Holdings Limited (GCL) and China Intellectual Electric Power Technology Co., Ltd. (CIE).