Text / Yang Jianyong
As the manufacturing industry recovers, the demand for automation will continue to increase, driving the sales of industrial robots to pick up. Among them, Estun, as one of the leading domestic industrial robot companies, saw a year-on-year increase of 69.95% in its domestic robot business in the third quarter of 2022, continuing to maintain rapid growth. As a result, the total revenue in the third quarter showed a steady growth pattern.
Robot sales pick up, Estun’s profitability improves
In the third quarter of 2022, Estun’s total revenue was 887 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.83%; net profit was 43.95 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 76%, and net profit after non-deduction was a sharp increase of 113.6%. Due to the strong third quarter revenue, the first three quarters of 2022 will maintain double-digit revenue growth. From January to September 2022, the revenue was 2.542 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.45%; the net profit was 120 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 36.89%.
Profitability has been greatly improved, mainly benefiting from the increase in revenue and gross profit margin, which keeps the net profit at a high growth rate. The gross profit margin in the third quarter was 34.66%, an increase of 4.34 percentage points year-on-year, and the gross profit margin increased significantly. Of course, important raw materials such as chips are still in shortage in the market and rising prices, which put pressure on Estun’s supply guarantee and cost reduction. The resulting net operating cash flow was a net outflow of approximately RMB 188 million. Behind it, in response to supply chain problems such as shortages of raw materials such as chips, the reserve of important raw materials has been increased to ensure the stability of production and business growth needs. In addition, due to the European energy crisis, overseas companies have slowed down their shipments and increased their inventories, which will have a certain impact on operating cash flow.
At present, Estun currently has 57 industrial robot products, including six-axis general-purpose robots, four-axis palletizing robots, SCARA robots, and industry-specific custom robots. Especially in the past two years, due to the opportunities in the new energy vehicle industry, the demand for robots manufactured by lithium batteries has surged. . It should be known that new energy vehicles have entered a period of rapid growth, and the market demand is strong, driving the rapid growth of the power lithium battery industry. High-standard automotive-grade power batteries have higher requirements for production efficiency, product consistency, and product quality.
At the same time, there are many types of new energy vehicles, corresponding to a variety of specifications and sizes of lithium batteries. Lithium battery manufacturers urgently need digital production lines with high flexibility, high efficiency and high quality to ensure sufficient production capacity to meet market demand.
Taking CATL as an example, as a leader in new energy, the revenue in the first three quarters of 2022 is 210.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 186%; the net profit is 17.59 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 127%. Strong revenue, which is due to the strong demand in the new energy industry, but also the ability of enterprise digitalization, involving business management, manufacturing and other aspects. In the manufacturing system, from the aspects of production efficiency, product quality, safety assurance, etc., to improve the manufacturing capacity, actively improve the existing manufacturing process and improve the product quality, so the indicators such as product defect rate and one-time pass rate are continuously optimized compared with the same period of the previous year. .
New energy has strong demand for industrial robots, and Estun’s annual shipment target is 16,000-18,000 units
Estun is also a qualified supplier of motion control systems and robots for CATL, currently mainly Scara robots. In the face of investor questions earlier last year, it claimed that the cooperation with CATL is going well. On the one hand, CATL’s own automation products have rich application scenarios and large demand; on the other hand, through the strong cooperation between the two parties, a good reputation effect has been established in the industry, which has laid a foundation for the subsequent products to enter other customers in the industry smoothly.
At the same time, Estun has established long-term and stable cooperative relations with the photovoltaic industry, such as LONGi; the lithium battery industry, such as Pioneer Intelligence; and the home appliance industry, such as Haier Group. There are successful cases. Estun’s advantage is complete solutions with motion control and AC servo systems, robotics and vision, digital products and services. It should be pointed out that new energy sources such as photovoltaics and lithium batteries will be the main market opportunities in the next two years by seizing the structural opportunities of downstream industry applications.
According to Rui Industrial statistics, in the first half of 2022, Estun industrial robots ranked fifth in the Chinese market. Due to the rapid growth of robot sales, Estun has risen year by year in the robot market ranking in the past few years. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, it ranked 10th and 8th in the overall global robot brand ranking in the Chinese industrial robot market ranking respectively. , No. 7.
It is worth mentioning that the demand for new energy industries such as photovoltaics and lithium batteries is strong. Estun expects to maintain rapid growth in the second half of the year. The new energy industry has gradually become an important downstream application industry for the company’s industrial robot business. To this end, a new energy business department was specially established to deeply explore how robots and motion control products can meet the ever-changing needs and increasing requirements of the lithium battery industry. It has been applied in batches in lithium battery enterprises.
At the same time, Estun has expanded the scope of application coverage in downstream industries in accordance with the market strategy of “general + segmentation”. The annual target of industrial robot shipments is 16,000-18,000 units. Robots will be released in 2025. The volume target is 50,000 units. Overall, from an industry perspective, Estun can seize the structural opportunities of downstream industry applications. The new energy industry is an important application market in the future, and a dedicated offensive team has been formed to seize the growth opportunities of the new energy industry. Secondly, the development trend of an aging society is becoming more and more obvious, and robot products can obtain more business opportunities for robots to replace people through ease of use and quality improvement.
Digitization promotes the development of intelligent manufacturing and industrial digitization. All walks of life use new digital technologies, such as in the production process, to continuously increase the level of digitization, automation and intelligence, so as to improve production efficiency, while reducing costs and increasing efficiency. A solid foundation for sustainable development. Then in the context of the upgrading of the manufacturing industry, the demand for industrial automation and industrial robots has increased significantly, and the orders for industrial robots have increased significantly.
In the first half of 2022, China’s industrial robot market is mainly driven by the demand for new energy vehicles and emerging industries, and the demand for industrial robots in the photovoltaic and lithium battery industries has increased significantly. This data comes from Rui Industry. It is also pointed out that Estun, Inovance Technology and Eft also benefited from their layout in the photovoltaic and lithium battery industries, and their shipments grew rapidly in the first half of the year.
Yang Jianyong, a contributor to Forbes China, is committed to in-depth interpretation of cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud services and artificial intelligence.