SLM Solutions reported first-quarter results after the market closed on May 12, 2021, announcing losses and decreasing revenues. The German pioneer in metal 3D printing technology came out with a quarterly loss of €5.1 million or 26 cents per share, a 16% improvement over the same quarter last year. While its order intake increased more than 350% year-over-year, its revenues dropped 14% as it is still reorganizing after the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Revenue decreased compared to the first quarter of 2020 to €15.4 million from €17.8 million. The chief reason for that being a slower backlog conversion of machine orders and a slight decrease in after-sales revenue. Despite the lower revenue, SLM Solutions improved its EBITDA, reporting a loss of €2.1 million in the first quarter of 2021, after a loss of €3 million a year earlier. This was mainly driven by lower travel and consulting expenses as well as a more cautious spending behavior as a result of implemented cost-out actions.
After announcing earnings results for the quarter, SLM Solutions stock fell 7.4%. Trading under the ticker symbol AM3D on Germany’s Frankfurt Stock Exchange, SLM shares roller-coastered since the beginning of 2021, dropping to values as low as €15.26 and peaking to some of the highest stock prices in a year, over the €24 mark. Over the past three months, the company stock has become highly volatile, according to the financial analysis of Australian startup Simply Wall Street. Still, it forecasts annual earnings growth of 88% in the next one to three years – based on analyst estimates.
Sam O’Leary, SLM Solutions’ CEO, said that as order intake began gaining traction over the last quarter, the company saw a “strong start to the new year,” in line with its expectations. A notable portion of its increased order backlog will be converted into revenue over the next quarters, O’Leary said. He also reflected on SLM Solutions’ projections and expected a significant acceleration of its growth, especially in the second half of the year.
The company is counting on the commercialization of the NXG XII 600, a multi-laser industrial 3D metal printer unveiled in November 2020, as a significant driver of the company’s future growth. In line with that, SLM Solutions recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a major energy original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in Europe to purchase five NXG XII 600 machines.
Another good sign that the business is gaining an increasing number of clients has been its reportedly high order intake in the first quarter, worth €13.4 million, a strong improvement compared to the same quarter in 2020, which reported just €2.9 million. The increased order intake reflects an ongoing improvement in the business environment that began in the third quarter of 2020, after being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of the year.
Based on the sound order backlog and the overall business dynamics, the Lübeck headquartered company reaffirmed its outlook for the full year 2021, expecting revenue growth of at least 15% compared to 2020 and a year-on-year improvement in EBITDA. Management also anticipates a greater rise in order intake in the second half of 2021.
SLM Solutions Chief Financial Officer, Dirk Ackermann, suggested that to support the business’ accelerating growth, “we further strengthened our liquidity position with the issuance of the second tranche of our 2020 convertible bond.” The raised capital of 15 million euros will help SLM ramp up production of the NXG XII 600 and expand the required sales and service network, proposed Ackermann.
Aside from heavily investing in research and development of multilaser machines and driving growth from volume production through additive manufacturing, SLM Solutions has also engaged in new partnerships, collaborations, and launched competitions during the first quarter of the year. In a joint project with Safran Landing Systems, the company is testing metal additive manufacturing to produce a component of a nose landing gear – a world-first for a part of this size – for a business jet. Through another partnership with Nordic AM company AMEXCI, SLM hopes to accelerate the industrialization of metal-based AM.
Finally, through an innovative new competition, SLM hopes to inspire artists, designers, and engineers to design with metal 3D printing in mind. Seeking to open up metal-based AM to those not normally able to take advantage of it, the company asks people to submit and upload their 3D designs, one of which will be built by its future-forward systems. The “Print the Future” competition closes on May 21, 2021, and the winner will be announced by the end of the month.
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