Arcam is a publicly-traded metal 3D printer manufacturer, and now we know a bit more about how well they are doing.
The company issued an interim financial report on their progress during the first three quarters of 2016. We can examine their information and speculate on the meaning.
But what happened? They’ve increased their sales revenue by 10% up to the end of September, but at the same time they’ve decreased operating income by almost 1%. During the period they delivered 35 systems, which would be full 3D metal printers, or about one per week. Dividing their operating income by the number of systems delivered yields a figure of USD$1.3M revenue per system - although their revenue is likely also bolstered by sales of materials and services. But this gives you a rough pricing level for the customer financial commitment required to deploy one of their systems. It’s a lot - but that is the case for 3D metal printers these days.
The company also reported order intake of 24 systems, down 5 from the previous period last year. Note that and “order” occurs earlier than a “delivery”, and thus the figures could be different.
However, it also shows that the sales are slightly decreasing.
Could this mean there is a dark cloud over metal 3D printing? Perhaps, but really the number of systems involved is so small that minor variances would tilt the statistics the other way. Consider, for example, if they were to suddenly sign a deal for half a dozen systems for a major manufacturer - then the stats would be entirely different.
Small companies such as Arcam depend on a small number of very large sales, and so the chart of progress will no doubt be bumpy.
The other factor they’ve reported is that GE had proposed a takeover offer, for which we await the results this week.