SLM Solutions outperforms guidance in FY 2021 with more than 20% revenue growth

Metal 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions (AM3D) has projected achieving revenue growth of 21% in FY 2021. 

Within its provisional results, the firm anticipates having generated €75 million during the 2021 financial year, €13 million more than the €62 million it reported in FY 2020, and a €4 million rise on the €71 million guidance it initially set for the period. 

Rather than being driven primarily by sales of its flagship NXG XII 600 3D printer, SLM Solutions’ better than expected revenue performance was led by the conversion of its order backlog, including its previously-released portfolio, but according to its CEO Sam O’Leary, the machine remains key to achieving its long-term plans.

“We once again outperformed our revenue guidance finishing the year with over 20% growth compared to 2020,” said O’Leary in a statement issued alongside the results. “While our new machine, the NXG XII 600, will further accelerate our growth in 2022 and beyond, our strong performance in 2021 was led by our existing product portfolio which we expect will gain further market share in the coming years.”

An SLM Solutions showroom.
SLM Solutions says that its FY 2021 revenue growth was driven by strong demand for its existing portfolio. Image via SLM Solutions.

SLM Solutions’ provisional results 

Although SLM Solutions has been keen to highlight that it has not yet completed its financial and operating closing procedures for Q4 2021, hence its FY 2021 figures remain subject to change, those it has published so far are extremely positive. 

Unsurprisingly, given that its results are only provisional, the firm hasn’t provided the usual breakdown of its income into Machines and After Sales divisions. On the whole, however, SLM Solutions’ financials reflect a realization of the ‘continued business pick-up’ projected by O’Leary at the end of H1 2021, as its revenue has since recovered to the extent that it also outperformed the pre-COVID FY 2019. 

SLM Solutions may not be attributing this income surge to the sales of any one machine, and it has emphasized that growth was “driven by increased sales across the entire product portfolio,” but it has also highlighted the “strong momentum” of its NXG XII 600 in Q4 2021, particularly in the automotive, energy, space, aviation and service bureau sectors. 

Away from the sales side of things, the company expects to have achieved an EBITDA of -€9-10 million as well, which if realized, would constitute an improvement of up to 60% on the -€15 million reported in FY 2020. In large part, SLM Solutions credits its rising profitability to its ‘operational excellence’ program, which it describes as being “instrumental” in its drive for internal efficiency. 

Financials (€) FY 2020 FY 2021 (Projected) Difference (%) FY 2019FY 2021 (Projected) Difference (%) 
Order Intake 46m70m+5268m70m+3
Order Backlog 30m43m+4343m
EBITDA -15m-9m to -10m+50 to +60-26m-9m to -10m+160 to +189
Revenue 62m75m+2149m75m+53

Mapping a FY 2021 sales acceleration

SLM Solutions’ financial year got off to a flying start in 2021, with the announcement of an MoU for five NXG XII 600 sales to an unnamed OEM. This was followed by system sales to Morf3D, Divergent Technologies, Collins Aerospace and MAN Energy which upgraded from the SLM 280, in what was a successful first full-year for the machine that saw it generate seven firm and three conditional orders. 

Yet, despite the obvious performance advantages of the twelve-laser NXG XII 600 over the rest of its portfolio, its other 3D printers continued to attract significant demand across the period. In April 2021, for instance, SLM Solutions deployed its SLM 800 alongside Safran to 3D print lightweighted large-format landing gear, before going on to sell SLM 280s to Cyient and MacLean Additive later in the year. 

These sales were also supplemented by the qualification of new materials for SLM Solutions’ systems, which no doubt served to broaden their potential applications. Back in April 2021, the company revealed that it had partnered with Elementum 3D, in a deal designed to widen the choice of powders available to its user base, and Fehrmann Alloys later qualified its AlMgty aluminum for SLM machines too.  

An engineer working on a Safran landing system.
SLM Solutions’ systems continue to find aerospace lightweighting applications. Photo via Christian Fleury, CAPA Pictures, Safran.

Projecting further growth ahead 

Looking ahead to FY 2022, O’Leary says that he expects demand for the firm’s SLM XII 600 3D printer to continue to grow, adding that he believes it will be “the first choice for customers looking for large volume serial production for years to come.”

In terms of its guidance, the company therefore anticipates generating €100 million in revenue during FY 2022, which if realized, would represent a further 33% growth on its FY 2021 result. Likewise, SLM Solutions says that it expects to be breaking-even with its EBITDA on a quarterly basis by H2 2022, based largely on the record €43 million backlog it has accrued giving it a “solid base going into 2022.” 

While the firm maintains that it hasn’t yet audited its figures or carried out its year-end closing procedures, including reviewing its accounting estimates and reconciliations, it shouldn’t be too long until its final results are confirmed. This is expected to happen on March 24, 2022, via a report that’s due to be released here.

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Featured image shows an SLM Solutions showroom. Image via SLM Solutions.