According to the annual report released by Chinese battery giant CATL on March 9, the company’s total operating income in 2022 exceeded 300 billion yuan ($43 billion) for the first time, reaching 328.59 billion yuan, up 152.1% year-on-year, and the company’s net profit was 30.73 billion yuan, up 92.9% year-on-year.
While achieving such high revenue, the company shared the growth and operation results with the majority of shareholders. It will distribute cash of 25.2 yuan (including tax) for every 10 shares that shareholders own, with a total cash dividend of 6.16 billion yuan.
Another highlight of the annual report comes from the fact that CATL disclosed the performance of its mining, selection and smelting of mineral resources for the first time. In 2022, the company achieved revenue of 4.509 billion yuan in this sector, accounting for 1.37% of the total income.
In 2022, the CATL’s R&D investment reached 15.51 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 101.7%. As of December 31, 2022, the company had 16,322 R&D technicians in its employ. CATL’s R&D mainly focuses on five major areas: sodium ion batteries, Qilin batteries, second generation thermal diffusion-free technology, M3P multi-component phosphate batteries and condensed matter batteries.
During the reporting period, CATL achieved battery sales of 289GWh, up 116.6% year-on-year, including 242GWh power battery systems, up 107.1% year-on-year.
According to SNE Research, in 2022, the global market share of power battery system usage by CATL reached 37%, an increase of 4 percentage points over the same period of 2021, ranking first in the world for the sixth consecutive year. The company’s global market share of energy storage battery system shipments reached 43.4%, an increase of 5.1 percentage points over the same period in 2021, ranking first in the world for the second consecutive year.
However, SNE Research’s data in January this year showed that the Top 1 enterprise for global power battery loading in January was still CATL, with a year-on-year growth rate of only 6.5%, far lower than the average market growth rate, and decreased by 56.8% month-on-month.
In order to consolidate its market share, CATL put forward a plan this past February. In the next three years, the lithium carbonate price of some power batteries produced by CATL will be settled at 200,000 yuan/ton, and the car companies that signed the agreement should promise to provide about 80% of the battery purchase volume to CATL. This plan was widely regarded as a price war launched by CATL against its rivals.
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However, CATL has positioned this plan as a mutual benefit and win-win situation. “Our goal is not a price reduction. We have our own mineral resources and hope to share them with long-term strategic customers based on a lower profit potential,” the company explained.