60% hike in 3D printer sales drives voxeljet’s return to revenue growth in Q1 2021

German 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet (VJET) has announced that it achieved annual revenue growth of 5% within its Q1 2021 financial results. 

During a Q1 2021 that saw the company meet its initial guidance of €3.8 million to €4 million, it generated total revenue of €4.060 million, 5% more than the €3.884 million reported in Q1 2020. Voxeljet’s rise in earnings can largely be attributed to the strong performance of its Systems sales, which jumped from the €1.3 million earned in Q1 2020 to €2.1 million in Q1 2021, an improvement of around 60%. 

Given that voxeljet suffered a 7% revenue decline between Q4 2019 and Q4 2020, its results represent a return to growth, yet the firm’s shares have slipped 6% since the figures were published. Until recently, the company’s share price had benefited from increased interest in binder jetting technologies, rising to a high of $36 in February 2021, but they’ve now settled at $11.79, closer to December 2020 levels. 

In a statement issued along with the results, voxeljet’s CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer said that the firm had made several technological advances during the first quarter, which would now enable it to “increase its addressable market.” “We are off to a decent start in 2021 and reached significant technological milestones,” said Ederer. 

“We believe we have the ecosystem, resources and technology to become the key supplier of solutions for high volume, industrial 3D printing,” he added. “Keep in mind, that is the reason why we started the company 20 years ago.”

Two of voxeljet's VX1000 3D printers.
Two of voxeljet’s VX1000 3D printers. Image via voxeljet.

Voxeljet’s Q1 2021 results 

Voxeljet generates revenue from both the sales of its High-Speed Sintering (HSS) and binder jet 3D printers, as well as the on-demand manufacturing services it provides with them, in Germany, the US, UK, China, and India. The firm’s Systems, including any revenue generated by its consumables, spare parts, or maintenance offerings, became its highest earner during Q1 2021, raising €2.1 million. 

Compared to Q1 2020, when the company sold one used and one refurbished system, it delivered two new 3D printers in Q1 2021, meaning that higher system value rather than quantity was the primary reason behind the division’s sales growth, although the firm says that its Systems-related revenue also increased slightly over the same period. 

Voxeljet’s Services revenue, on the other hand, fell 24% from the €2.6 million generated in Q1 2020 to €2 million during Q1 2021. According to the company, market demand within its U.S, German and Chinese-based businesses has yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic, and this was reflected in their lack of Services revenue for the quarter. 

Elsewhere, despite the firm’s technological achievements during Q1 2021, its quarterly R&D spending actually decreased compared to Q1 2020, from €1.635 million to €1.604 million. The firm says that it was able to reduce its R&D expenditure thanks to lower depreciation and personnel expenses, which were partially offset by higher material costs. 

Voxeljet Revenue (€)Q1 2019Q1 2021 Variance (%)Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Variance (%)
Systems 2.415m2.087m-141.305m2.087m+60
Total Revenue 5.565m4.060m-273.884m4.060m+5

Analyzing a system sales boom

In 2021, voxeljet continued to benefit from a surge of public interest in binder jetting technologies, which arguably started when Desktop Metal announced its IPO last year. Since then, the company has sold one of its VX4000 machines to steel casting firm Peekay Steels, which it’s now deploying as part of India’s wider ‘Make in India’ initiative. 

More recently, voxeljet has also received a follow-up order for three additional VJET X systems from an unnamed German carmaker, and Ederer reported that it’s already running the machines without much support. In terms of the rest of the year, voxeljet has a backlog of eight 3D printer orders worth some €6.6 million, which should sustain its revenue growth moving forwards, despite representing a slight drop compared to the €6.8 million seen in Q1 2020. 

The company has also made significant progress with expanding its portfolio, successfully stress-testing its latest large-format HSS 3D printer, and working with external partners to build on its material compatibility. “In High-Speed Sintering, we successfully printed and sintered with our new 3D printer on what we believe to be the largest build area for polymer sintering in the industry,” said Ederer. 

“We are also in advanced discussions with large chemical companies for joint material development projects,” he added. “We firmly believe that this new printer and new material combinations will significantly increase our total addressable market.”

The Voxeljet VX4000 binder jet system. Photo via Voxeljet
The Voxeljet VX4000 binder jet system. Photo via Voxeljet

Projecting a strong year ahead 

For the second quarter of 2021, voxeljet has set initial guidance of €4-€6 million, which could represent anything from a 2%-50% rise on the €3.916 million it reported in Q1 2020. Given that the company’s average lead time of turning backlogged orders into sales is 3-9 months, it also anticipates that it will be able to achieve an FY 2021 revenue of €22.5-€27.5 million, constituting an overall increase of 4-25%. 

In order to fund its future growth ambitions, voxeljet recently announced a $10 million registered direct offering and $12 million direct stock offering, which raised a net total of $16 million. As a result, the company now has an improved cash balance at €9.76 million, 51% more than the €6.45 million reported at the end of Q1 2020.

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Featured image shows two of voxeljet’s VX1000 3D printers. Image via voxeljet.