FlexQubes report for the fourth quarter and year-end report for 2022
THE PERIOD 1 JANUARY – 31 DECEMBER 2022
- Order intake increased by 14.9 percent to 178.4 MSEK (155.3). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, order intake increased by 3 percent.
- Net sales increased by 81.7 percent to 204.6 MSEK (112.6). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, net sales increased by 65.4 percent.
- Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to -1.5 MSEK (-17.4) and operating profit before financial items (EBIT) amounted to -6.4 MSEK (-22.0).
- Profit before tax amounted to -7.0 MSEK (-22.5).
- Earnings per share amounted to -0.9 SEK (-2.7).
- Cash flow amounted to -5.6 MSEK (21.5), of which -22.0 MSEK
(-29.3) from operating activities, -8.1 MSEK (-2.8) from investment activities and 24.5 MSEK (53.7) from financing activities.
- Cash and cash equivalents amounted to 30.5 MSEK (34.9) at the end of the period.
FOURTH QUARTER 2022
- Order intake decreased by 25.8 percent to 38.8 MSEK (52.3). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, order intake decreased by 36.5 percent.
- Net sales increased by 2.6 percent to 48.6 MSEK (47.4). Adjusted for foreign exchange rate effects between the comparison periods, net sales increased by 5.7 percent.
- Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to -2.2 MSEK (-2.8) and operating profit before financial items (EBIT) amounted to -3.5 MSEK (-3.9).
- Profit before tax amounted to -3.8 MSEK (-4.0).
- Earnings per share amounted to -0.5 SEK (-0.5)
- Cash flow amounted to -4.8 MSEK (20.3), of which -5.9 MSEK
(-25.9) from operating activities, -2.6 MSEK (-0.3) from investment activities and 3.6 MSEK (46.5) from financing activities.
- Cash and cash equivalents amounted to 30.5 MSEK (34.9) at the end of the period.
- Mårten Frostne appointed new CEO and will take office no later than the summer 2023.
- The company receives an order of approximately SEK 6.4 million for Liftrunner and associated mechanical carts to a major customer in Mexico.
- American customer active in the infrastructure sector order eight eQart® Line robots to a value of approximately SEK 3 million.
- The company receives an order for mechanical carts for a customer active in the aerospace and defense sector in the US worth approximately SEK 3.6 million.
EVENTS AFTER THE END OF THE PERIOD
- FlexQube has entered into a new credit facility agreement with Danske Bank A/S and ALMI for a total of SEK 45 million. SEK 5 million refers to long-term loans and SEK 40 million is made available via a current overdraft facility. The new facilities will primarily be used to finance an ongoing need for increased working capital at the launch of the company's new automation product eQart® Navigator in 2023.
- The Extra ordinary General Meeting resolves on a new incentive program for the future CEO of the company. The company's future CEO subscribes for 110,000 warrants, which provided the company with approximately SEK 1.5 million.
Link to the report for the fourth quarter and year-end report for 2022: https://www.flexqubegroup.com/secure-file.php?file=666391354fe1a11a066cebd0f1fd7574.pdf
The entire quarterly report is also attached to this press release.
OUR STRONGEST YEAR EVER WITH ADVANCED POSITIONS
I am pleased to announce that we can put 2022 into FlexQube's history books as the most successful year ever. We have achieved record levels for both order intake and sales and we have taken important and major steps for our robotic concept. The robotic carts in the form of our AGV system, eQart Line, have had a strong growth for the full year. In addition, we have devoted a lot of time and resources to successfully moving closer to a full-scale launch of our robot concept eQart Navigator, which we have decided to call FlexQube Navigator AMR going forward.
FlexQube has also grown significantly as a brand for traditional mechanical carts, where we continue to deliver large volumes to, among others, one of the world leading electric car manufacturer. We’re closely monitoring where new car manufacturing plants are starting up. For example, there is talk of a global car manufacturer* starting up in Nuevo Leon in Mexico which would be very fitting since we have one of our Mexican sales offices located right there.
In addition to a strong year for the mechanical carts, we have also achieved new record volumes of the Liftrunner concept, the material train from KION in Germany for which we are exclusive distributors in North America and South Africa. It is a very good addition to our mechanical carts in the customers' journey to streamline their internal logistics, and we see in early 2023 a continued strong inflow of projects for this area.
However, much of 2022 and the future is focused on our robotization journey, where our focus on offering automation solutions that have a spotlight on the user and the presentation of materials, has found its place in the market. The growth of automation products for internal logistics is expected to grow by over 30% per year over the next 10 years in general, and in terms of the manufacturing industry even faster.
SALES & RESULTS
Sales for the full year amounted to SEK 204.6 million compared to SEK 112.6 million for 2021, which means strong growth of 82%. At EBITDA level, we improve significantly from SEK -17.4 million for 2021 to SEK -1.5 million for the full year 2022. We have managed to improve the operating margin significantly and were profitable during the first three quarters of the year. This is despite continued very forward-looking costs, partly to take care of the growth today and the one we want to create in the future, but also all the extra costs it entails to build a company with unique robotized products. In addition to this, we have grown the organization by about 40% and moved to a new head office with twice as large areas as before. We are pleased with this job, but there is still a lot to work on to further strengthen the operating margin as we grow.
Order intake grew by 14.9% for the full year to SEK 178.4 million compared with SEK 155.3 million in 2021. Although order intake and sales can swing differently between quarters, I can state that we have had a fantastic development during a year with challenges both geopolitically, inflation-wise and with large supply chain disruptions.
Through price increases and a more favourable product mix, we have compensated for investments we have made in the organization, where we have added resources to maintain the speed of our automation journey and prepare for increased growth in the future.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the order intake for the large orders we received to ODA during the month of December of approximately SEK 20 million was included. The comparative figures are thus affected by a single order, whereby order intake in the fourth quarter for 2022 had a greater spread.
The development in the fourth quarter remained very positive in Mexico, driven by continued large investments in the manufacturing industry. I believe that the effect of onshoring and putting production closer to the US has a positive impact on developments in Mexico, something that is likely to continue for many years to come as geopolitical tensions continue. An article in the New York Times from January 1 this year described how Mexico can be a big winner as globalization shifts away from China. That's something I can subscribe to as well. No single market that we are operating in is currently experiencing the same energy and faith in the future as Mexico.
During both October and November, we quoted record volumes (December is naturally a calmer month) and saw a large inflow of new projects. The difference from before, however, is that it takes a little longer to completion of the deals. Many deals are thus not closed but probably pushed forward in time by a few quarters instead. I remain optimistic about volume development in both 2023 and 2024. There is a great interest among companies to optimize logistics processes and to improve ergonomics, something we notice not least on the influx of requests. In January 2023, we added the highest value of future potential projects ever.
FLEXQUBES ROBOTIC CONCEPT
Both for the full year 2022 and for the last quarter, we saw new records for our AGV system eQart® Line. For 2022, our sales for eQart® Line grew by over 100% to SEK 15.6 million and in the fourth quarter of 2022, order intake for eQart® Line amounted to SEK 7.5 million. This was the highest level for a single quarter to date.
The interest in eQart® Line has thus continued to be very strong and the challenge has been to be able to deliver at the pace customers wanted. As previously mentioned, we have updated the robot with a new control computer that we call 3.0 and during the fourth quarter and a bit into the first quarter of 2023 we have had some disruptions in deliveries due to component shortage. We will see some impact on sales also in the first quarter of 2023 due to this, but I believe that deliveries will return to normal trend from the second quarter of this year.
Intensive work continues for our next product line in the robot segment, with our AMR concept, FlexQube Navigator AMR. Certifications of the system are planned to be in place during the month of May this year and marketing will begin in the first quarter. We have about ten projects underway already where the Navigator system has already been or will be offered shortly. As before, our goal is to see a significant addition to our sales volumes from the Navigator system during the second half of this year. Through two major material handling fairs in Chicago (ProMAT) in March and in Stuttgart (LogiMAT) in May, we will have opportunities to expose the uniqueness of the AMR concept Navigator to our target group. During the spring, the first system will be put into use at a car manufacturer in the US and there are great opportunities for larger volumes if the pilot project is successful.
In the fourth quarter, we also delivered our first eQart® Line to China as well as to Japan. Asia does not and will not be the main focus for us in the near future, but we obviously want to take advantage of the opportunities that open up for us. Both of these orders can of course lead to bigger deals going forward.
Like most companies, we are not immune to market turmoil in the outside world, but it is important not to become short-sighted in the business and the development work, but instead to make well-balanced decisions where good cost control is set against the focus on the future. We want to continue to be forward leaning in the parts where we need to invest to achieve future results and growth. Here, of course, lie the parts with regards to the robot products.
In June, I will hand over the CEO role to our new CEO Mårten Frostne. I’m very proud of these last 11 years as CEO, all our fantastic employees and the record year of 2022. The timing is perfect for a new experienced leader that will work towards well defined targets and I’m looking forward being part of the team with focus on key accounts and business development. We will continue the path for FlexQube with a focus on automation and building a strong brand in internal logistics. We have the big journey of us with focus on automation ahead of us and I feel very confident that Mårten is the right person to lead us forward.
Into 2022, we went with a plan to become a recognized robotics company, accelerate our sales, improve our earnings and cash flow, as well as increase the capacity of our operations. I am proud and happy that we can sign off on all four of these goals a year later. Our development has been very strong across the board and I would like to thank our employees for the efforts they make daily to lift FlexQube to new heights. But as we've said so many times before and will continue to do; This is just the beginning of our journey!
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 1000 customers in 37 countries with primary markets being North America and Europe.
FlexQube’s customers can be found within the manufacturing industry, distribution- and warehousing. We represent some of the most successful companies in the world with a significant share being represented on the Fortune 500 list. These companies exist within automotive, electric vehicle manufacturing, online retail, heavy-duty trucks, industrial automation and retail logistics.
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 Feb 22, 2023, at. 08:00 CET.
* Corrected 2023-12-05