FlexQubes report for the third quarter 2022
THIRD QUARTER 2022
- Order intake decreased by 9.6 percent to 36.7 MSEK (40.6). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, orders received decreased by 24.5 percent.
- Net sales increased by 140 percent to 56.4 MSEK (23.5). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, net sales increased by 115 percent.
- Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to 4.0 MSEK (-8.0) and operating profit before financial items (EBIT) amounted to 2.8 MSEK (-9.2).
- Profit before tax amounted to 2.6 MSEK (-9.3).
- Earnings per share amounted to 0.3 SEK (-1.3)
- Cash flow amounted to -1.1 MSEK (-0.8), of which -2.5 MSEK (-6.7) from operating activities, -1.8 MSEK (-1.3) from investment activities and 3.2 MSEK (7.2) from financing activities.
- Cash and cash equivalents amounted to 36.1 MSEK (14.7) at the end of the period.
- International car manufacturer places order worth SEK 5 million
- The company receives volume orders for 8 eQart® Line robot carts for one of our most well-known customers. The customer already have several thousand mechanical carts from FlexQube.
- The company receives first order for eQart® Line to China.
- The company's CEO, Anders Fogelberg, has decided to leave his role as CEO and instead focus on sales development and strategy around the company's products. Anders will remain as CEO until a new CEO has been recruited.
- The company moves its head office to newly renovated premises in Mölndal, outside Gothenburg. The premises are approximately twice as large as the previous office and allow the company to once again focus all operations for Sweden under one roof. This leads to higher efficiency and better internal collaboration.
THE PERIOD 1 JANUARY – 30 SEP 2022
- Order intake increased by 35.5 percent to 139.7 MSEK (103.0). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, orders received increased by 21.6 percent.
- Net sales increased by 139 percent to 156.0 MSEK (65.3). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, net sales increased by 113.8 percent.
- Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to 0.7 MSEK (-14.6) and operating profit before financial items (EBIT) amounted to -2.8 MSEK (-18.1).
- Profit before tax amounted to -3.2 MSEK (-18.5).
- Earnings per share amounted to -0.4 SEK (-2.5).
- Cash flow amounted to -0.8 MSEK (1.2), of which -16.1 MSEK
(-3.5) from operating activities, -5.5 MSEK (-2.5) from investment activities and 20.8 MSEK (7.2) from financing activities.
- Cash and cash equivalents amounted to 36.1 MSEK (14.7) at the end of the period.
Link to the report for the third quarter 2022:
The entire quarterly report is also attached to this press release.
OUR STRONGEST QUARTER EVER
The third quarter of 2022 is written into FlexQube's history books with record sales and record earnings. Our strongest quarter to date and the interest in FlexQube, both for mechanical and robotic carts, has never been greater. A troubled world where both inflation and higher interest rates affect us from several directions means increased challenges to deal with. Stil, our team has worked very successfully to get us to another record quarter for sales and earnings, something that I am very proud of.
SALES & PROFIT
Turnover in the third quarter increased by 140% to SEK 56.4 million, while order intake decreased by 9.6% to SEK 36.7 million. In total over the first nine months of this year the sales amount to SEK 156 million compared to SEK 65.2 million for the first nine months of 2021, a growth of 140% which we are very satisfied with.
The development remains positive in the US and Europe during the third quarter, and we have seen a very strong development in Mexico, driven by the large investments in subcontractors in the automotive industry that are taking place to meet the demand for electric cars.
EBITDA of SEK 4 million is our best result ever and a significant improvement on last year's negative EBITDA of SEK 8 million in the third quarter.
The quarter started tentatively for order intake, but in September our order intake doubled compared to September 2021 and amounted to just over SEK 17 million, so the end of the quarter was strong, and we have never had such a good project pipeline as we have now. In the UK, we received a breakthrough order of SEK 1.5 million for one of the major German car brands.
It is noticeable that the market climate made our customers a little more hesitant during the quarter. It takes a little longer to get to close deals and in general we have a lower average order value. However, we have never sent so many quotes as we have done from mid-August onwards. This is an indicator that over time has proven to be able to predict order intake with high precision. I am therefore optimistic about the volume development in the upcoming 12 months, although the short term may be more challenging.
It should also be mentioned that we are allocating more resources to sales processes concerning the eQart products with each passing quarter, which in the short term may negatively affect order intake for other segments. In order to create the conditions for an increasing order intake for both eQart Line and also eQart Navigator in 2023, we need to involve more people from different departments in the company as the sales cycles are longer for automation products.
Considering the long lead times for electronic components, it has also been prioritized to start increasing our inventory value that can support the growth we plan for in the robot segment in 2023. This will continue during the fourth quarter, which affects cashflow, but we see it as a prerequisite for the business planning concerning the robotics segment into next year.
There is a strong momentum among companies to optimize logistics processes and improve ergonomics, something we notice with increased requests that have remained high after the summer. Furthermore, we have never met as many existing and new potential customers as this year through the tradeshows we have taken part in. The exposure and number of project opportunities from these tradeshows has been at least twice as high as in any previous year. Although it may be a little longer before the deals are completed, we account for record high opportunities going forward.
FLEXQUBES ROBOTIZED EQART®
The order intake for eQart® Line was our highest ever and the largest order came from one of the leading car manufacturers in the US and will be implemented in the fourth quarter. The order consisted of eight eQart® Line robots that will automate the flow of chair seats to the assembly line.
Over the next ten years, internal logistics growth opportunities continue to look very favorable. Although we have not yet fully opened the order books for the eQart® Navigator, our most advanced and groundbreaking robot concept, we have received great interest in the concept and have already won innovation awards as previously announced. We have held discussions and conducted feasibility studies on a number of projects at several world-leading logistics companies during the third quarter. Given the challenges in semiconductor manufacturing, lead times are up to one year for some of the safety-classified sensors we use on the robots. This means it will take until the second half of 2023 before we will see any major contributions to sales from eQart® Navigator. However, we have an ambition level to contribute strongly to order intake during the first half of 2023 from this product segment.
During the quarter, we moved into new premises in Mölndal, outside Gothenburg. We now have a co-located warehouse and assembly operations with our robot development team and other services at the head office. The premises are well adapted to our business and have already generated additional positive energy for the entire organization.
During the quarter, we exhibited at the IHMX logistics fair in Birmingham, and this was the return of trade shows in the UK market where the last fair was held in 2019. The outcome was very successful and beyond expectations for us as the English market has been challenging for a couple of years. We received around 200 contacts and several very interesting potential projects.
In Europe, we will increase our sales capacity through another sales manager for the German market. We have succeeded in recruiting a leading salesperson with solid experience in the industry. In addition, we plan to expand our service team in Poland with our own sales resource that can serve the large Polish market as well as other key markets for the European automotive industry, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
As we now plan for 2023, the focus is on increasing the growth of our robot sales and its share of total sales, and leveraging our existing customer base, improving our margins through increased efficiency within our supply chain, balancing cash flow as much as possible without holding back sales growth too much and working with our corporate culture and the long-term development of our employees.
One of the advantages of offering products in internal logistics is that customers are found in all industries. The automotive industry’s electrification trend is driving demand as companies transition. In addition, we win business from energy-related companies such as wind power and power transmission. This year, we have also seen greater demand from defence equipment manufacturers. The latter is a segment in which we are growing and will have a larger focus in the future. The fact that we deliver to so many countries and to so many different customer segments also allow us to focus on the markets that currently have a more positive development.
The opportunities for service and aftermarket increase for FlexQube through a larger installed fleet of carts and robots at our customers. We have therefore decided to focus more on this into 2023 and beyond by budgeting for this revenue stream. In addition, we will have more dedicated resources that drive sales in this segment. Sales of spare parts, update kits and maintenance have increased during the quarter, which is quite natural as the carts we sold during the growth phase 2018-2019 have been used for 3-5 years, which now creates a higher demand to maintain. It is easy to focus solely on new sales, but the fact is that everyday tens of thousands of FlexQube carts and soon up to 100 eQart® Line robots roll at our customers around the world. If the carts stop, the customers' processes stop, and our aftermarket opportunities will only increase over time.
The successful companies that we work with and have worked with for a long time are a great strength for us and something to take advantage of in more challenging times. We know that the brands these companies represent will grow even stronger over time and that their success also spills over into our success and development. It is, therefore, even more important to work closely with our key customers going forward and with our unique concept for robot and trolley logistics to meet the customers' high demands for function and performance.
We have the big journey of our robotized eQarts® ahead of us, and I feel confident that both our customer base and product portfolio are a golden combination going forward for FlexQube.
CEO FlexQube AB (publ)
FlexQube is a technology company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden with subsidiaries in USA, Mexico, Germany and England. FlexQube offers solutions for cart-based material handling using a patented modular concept. FlexQube develops and designs customized solutions for both robotic and mechanical cart logistics. Through the own developed and unique automation concept FlexQube can offer robust and self-driving robotic carts. FlexQube has more than 800 customers in more than 30 countries with primary markets being North America and Europe.
FlexQube’s customers can be found within the manufacturing industry, distribution- and warehousing. Some examples of major customers are Volvo Cars, Siemens, Autoliv, Scania, Oda and Mann+Hummel.
For more information, contact:
CEO, Anders Fogelberg
+46 702 86 06 74
CFO, Mikael Lindbäck
+46 761 04 10 28
The share (FLEXQ) is traded on Nasdaq First North. FNCA Sweden AB, telephone +46 8-528 00 399, is the Company's Certified Adviser. Read more at www.flexqube.com
This information is insider information that FlexQube AB (publ) is obliged to disclose in accordance with EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was provided by the above contact persons for publication on Oct 26, 2022, at. 08:00 CET.