German metal 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions Group AG has reported its financial earnings for fiscal year 2019 (FY2019). The company generated €49 million in revenue for FY2019, compared to €71.7 million for the previous year, representing a 31.7 percent decline.
However, as revealed in the early stages of 2020, SLM Solutions’ order intake value of €67.7 million for FY2019 was up 20.8 percent compared to FY2018, which was at €56 million. Additionally, order intake for the firm in Q4 2019 grew by 100 percent from €14.7 million to €29.5 million compared to Q4 2018.
Acknowledging the difficult year for the company in 2019, Meddah Hadjar, CEO of SLM Solutions suggests that the increased order intake is indicative of customer confidence: “2019 was an exceptionally difficult year and marked by major changes for SLM Solutions […] The path to sustainable economic success will take time. The first tangible results can already be seen in the order intake. Despite the difficult market environment in the Additive Manufacturing industry, our order backlog grew significantly in the second half of 2019.”
“This is an indication that we have been able to regain market share and to gain customers’ confidence, particularly in the USA, in the aerospace industry, as well as in the automotive sector.”
SLM Solutions revenue by segment
SLM Solutions’ revenue is divided in two segments, Machine Business and After Sales Business. The Machine Business comprises SLM’s selective laser machines and accessory devices, whereas After Sales Business consists of revenue generated by service, spare parts, powder, training and installation of machines.
|Revenue||FY2019||FY2018||Variance € millions||Variance %|
|After Sales Business||13,821||15,386||-1,565||-10.17%|
For FY2019, SLM Solutions’ Machine Business segment produced €35.1 million in revenue, a 37.6 percent decrease compared to the segment’s revenue in FY2018, which was €56.3 million. The company sold a total of 49 3D printing machines throughout 2019, whereas in 2018 SLM Solutions sold 99 systems. Revenue from the After Sales Business fell from €15.4 million in FY2018 to €13.8 million in FY2019, representing a 10.2 percent decline.
|Segment revenue distribution||2019||2018||Variance € millions||Variance %|
|Asia / Pacific||14,113||21,866||-7,753||-35.46%|
|European countries (European Union without Germany)||17,167||23,590||-6,423||-27.23%|
|United States of America||11,481||14,894||-3,413||-22.92%|
Of these segments combined, European countries (excluding Germany which is reported separately) held the highest distribution of revenue for FY2019, reported at €17.2 million, however this is compared to €23.6 million in revenue for the region in FY2018. For Asia/Pacific, segment revenue was reported at €14.1 million for FY2019, compared to €21.9 million for the previous year. For the U.S. as a whole, FY2019 segment revenue was reported at €11.5 million, compared to €14.9 million in FY2018.
Impact of coronavirus pandemic
As highlighted by Hadjar, who was appointed as SLM Solutions CEO in early 2019, the company gained momentum in the latter half of 2019, which contributed to its order intake boost. During this period, the company entered into a collaboration with multinational manufacturing conglomerate Honeywell to qualify new additive manufacturing parameters that enable printing at increased thicknesses. SLM Solutions is responsible for providing the hardware and materials for Honeywell to qualify.
Additionally, CeramicSpeed, a supplier of ceramic bearings for cycling and industrial applications based in Denmark, and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), used an SLM Solutions metal additive manufacturing system to develop a 3D printed pulley wheel for professional cyclists.
Moving forward, the Management Board at SLM Solutions initially expected FY2020 consolidated sales to grow in the mid-double-digit percentage range compared to consolidated sales in FY2019. However, with the ongoing, global COVID-19 crisis and consequent economic slowdown, SLM Solutions is not able to offer a full year guidance for FY2020, and will seek to present one once the impact of the pandemic can be factored in.
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