SLM Solutions overcomes “ongoing supply chain disruptions” to deliver revenue growth of 7% in Q1 2022

Metal 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions (AM3D) has reported a 7% revenue rise within its Q1 2022 financial results. 

During the first quarter of FY 2022, SLM Solutions brought in €16.9 million, a €3.5 million increase on the €13.4 million it generated in Q1 2021. According to the firm’s CEO Sam O’Leary, this growth was primarily driven by a 26% rise in its order intake, which has also allowed it to strengthen its backlog for the fourth quarter in a row, thus “providing it with a strong base for the rest of the year.”

“We have further strengthened our order backlog position, driven by a robust order intake during the quarter and delivered year-over-year top-line growth,” says O’Leary. “This outcome, despite various challenges including ongoing supply chain disruptions, is indicative of the significant underlying potential of the business, which I am confident we will continue to unlock over the coming periods.”

Sartori has acquired an SLM 280 system from metal 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions. Photo via SLM Solutions.
SLM Solutions’ world headquarters. Photo via SLM Solutions.

SLM Solutions’ Q1 2022 results 

As usual, SLM Solutions has reported its revenue under two key segments: Machines and After Sales, with the former remaining its highest earner during Q1 2022, generating €11.4 million. The company says this figure, which was flat against the €11.2 million reported in Q1 2021, was driven by a “strong underlying demand environment,” but adds that supply issues stopped it growing significantly. 

These disruptions, which delayed SLM Solutions’ order fulfilment, caused it to underutilize its production capacity and led to shortages of certain electronic components, impacted on its profitability as well. During Q1 2022, the firm reported an EBITDA of €-4.4 million, a 110% decline on the -€2.1 million it posted back in Q1 2021, while its working capital also rose to €38.5 million, due to inventory costs. 

On the flipside, SLM Solutions’ After Sales segment did manage to achieve growth in Q1 2022, bringing in €5 million, 21% more than the €4.1 million it generated in Q1 2021, as it sold more consumables and ad-hoc services to existing clientele. 

Financials (€) Q1 2021Q1 2022Difference (%) Q1 2020Q1 2022Difference (%) 
Order Intake 13.4m16.9m+26.12.9m16.9m+482.8
Order Backlog 31m49m+58.123.7m49m+106.8
EBITDA -2.1m-4.4m-109.5-3m-4.4m-46.7
Revenue 15.4m16.4m+6.517.8m16.4m-17.9

A Q1 of launches, sales and installations

In large part, SLM Solutions’ Q1 2022 centered on continuing to realize the potential of its NXG XII 600 3D printer, which it first launched in November 2020. Over the period, the company not only received two more orders for the system, with one understood to have come from a defense firm, but announced the shipment of several more. 

With Collins Aerospace, MAN Energy Solutions and Sintavia each having ordered or installed the NXG XII 600 in the course of Q1 2022, the machine now boasts a user base that spans from bureaus to automotive and aerospace manufacturers. 

Elsewhere, SLM Solutions also worked with MIMO Technik to qualify ALSi10Mg aluminum powder for Boeing, utilizing three SLM 500 3D printers. With Bertram Dental Lab going on to announce the acquisition of five SLM 280 systems in Q2 2022, to facilitate plans to launch its LazerTEK Print Service, it’s clear that SLM Solutions’ wider portfolio continues to drive sales as well, and contribute to its rising backlog. 

In terms of new launches, the company focused on the software side of its business in Q1 2022, introducing ‘SLM.Quality.’ It’s thought that the quality assurance program, which is designed to enable users to perform tasks like build job evaluations and part certifications more efficiently, will now allow those working in aerospace and automotive to better meet rising productivity and compliance demands. 

Similarly, SLM Solutions also worked with Viaccess-Orca and in February 2022, to develop a secure, direct cloud-to-print platform. The fully-automated software is said to allow for the encryption of files sent for 3D printing on SLM’s selective laser melting (SLM) machines, as a means of preventing tampering and securing manufacturers’ Intellectual Property (IP). 

The SLM Solutions NXG XII 600 3D printer. Image via SLM Solutions.
SLM Solutions’ NXG XII 600 3D printer continues to be a vital source of revenue. Image via SLM Solutions.

Retaining a positive outlook for FY 2022 

While SLM Solutions anticipates seeing “continued supply chain pressures” during the remainder of the financial year, it says it has taken the mitigating actions and attracted the demand needed to meet its annual revenue target of €100 million. 

By opting to expand its supplier base, produce more parts in-house and increase its ‘safety stock’ levels, the firm believes it can now better combat the disruptions which delayed its shipments in Q1. Thanks to its order backlog of €49 million, and a range of internal efficiency initiatives SLM Solutions is engaged in, its CFO Dirk Ackermann says that it also anticipates seeing an EBITDA improvement in H2 2022. 

“While this was the first quarter in which our revenue was impacted due to being unable to fulfill several orders, we remain confident that we can deliver our target revenue for FY 2022,” adds Ackermann. “Furthermore, we expect to see gains from several measures which we have undertaken to boost operational efficiencies. These will lead to an improvement in profitability and enable us to reach our target of break-even EBITDA on a quarterly basis in the second half of 2022.”

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Featured image shows SLM Solutions’ world headquarters. Photo via SLM Solutions.