SLM Solutions reports challenging 2017 fiscal year despite 85.4% increase metal 3D printer orders

After a shaky start, Germany’s SLM Solutions, industrial additive manufacturing system manufacturers, reports a stronger conclusion for the second half of 2017.

In total, 241 industrial 3D printers were ordered by SLM Solutions’ customers, compared to 130 machines in the previous year. This is a remarkable 85.4% increase in unit numbers. The value of these 3D printer orders is €169k, approximately $210k (2016: €80k, $99k).

SLM Solutions Logo in Laser. Photo by Michael Petch.
SLM Solutions Logo in Laser. Photo by Michael Petch.

Record breaking year for orders of metal 3D printers

In October 2017, we reported on an significant order for 70 SLM280 metal additive manufacturing systems from an unnamed customer in Asia. This valuable contract broke the previous record for largest order at SLM Solution – that was only set in the previous month. That order in September 2017 was a €43 million contract for 20 machines.

Uwe Bögershausen, CFO and Speaker of the Management Board of the Company, commented, “SLM succeeded in realising revenue growth of about 2% in a challenging 2017 fiscal year after our revenues were down by 13.5% at the end of the first half 2017 compared year on year.”

We take the strong tailwind from the second half 2017 into the 2018 fiscal year. I would also like to point out that we have achieved a significantly higher EBITDA in the fourth quarter 2017 compared year on year with comparable revenues. This shows that from an operational perspective we are on the right way. Thanks to the long-term frame agreements signed in 2017, we now have plannable revenues for the fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020. We are convinced that our outstanding technology can enable us to achieve considerably higher growth rates in future. Such development will then also positively influence earnings to two digit EBITDA margins.

The revenue growth translates as €82k ($102k) in consolidated revenue for SLM Solutions in 2017, slightly undershooting the adjusted revenue forecast issued in November. However, the metal additive manufacturing enterprise did hit their revised EBITDA margin forecast.

For the coming year, SLM Solutions appears to be in a strong position with multiple long-term agreements and customer cooperation arrangements in place for the coming one year and three years horizon.

SLM Solutions SLM 800 3D printer. Photo via SLM Solutions.
SLM Solutions SLM 800 3D printer. Photo via SLM Solutions.

SLM Solutions moving on from failed GE takeover

CFO Bögershausen gave further insight into the results, “The 2017 fiscal year, especially the first half, was still dominated by the failed take-over approach at the end of 2016. The very positive development during the second half of 2017 as well as the order intake with a total volume of around 169 Million Euro, which was more than doubled compared to 2016, allow us to look ahead on 2018 fiscal year very positively.”

The GE deal was scuppered by activist U.S. hedge fund Elliott Advisors who hoped to increase the initial acquisition price offered by GE. Instead, GE turned their attention to Concept Laser. SLM Solutions would later replace their then CEO Markus Rechlin.

For fiscal 2018, SLM Solutions forecasts consolidated revenue in the region of €125k, at this level an adjusted EBITDA margin (in relation to consolidated revenue) will be in the two-digit range.

The full SLM Solutions Group AG Annual Report for the 2017 fiscal year will be published later today online.

You can read about SLM Solutions expectations for the future of 3D printing here.

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