The Korea Herald


Samsung SDI logs record-high Q3 sales on solid EV battery demand

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : Oct. 26, 2023 - 15:12

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Samsung SDI’s premium battery lineup PRiMX (Samsung SDI) Samsung SDI’s premium battery lineup PRiMX (Samsung SDI)

Samsung SDI said Thursday it has posted a record-high revenue in the third quarter, driven by upbeat sales of electric vehicle batteries.

In the July–September period, the company’s revenue surged 10.8 percent on-year to 5.9 trillion won ($4.4 billion), mostly boosted by increased sales of prismatic and cylindrical batteries cells for EVs which saw a 60 percent jump in profit and a 9.3 percent operating profit margin.

Its operating profit decreased 12.3 percent to 496 billion won in the cited period.

The company’s midsized and large batteries business for cars witnessed upbeat earnings, with the production ramp-up in the Hungary plant’s new assembly line and sales expansion of its premium prismatic battery product, dubbed “P5.”

“With new joint venture agreements within the US and a recent supply deal with Hyundai Motor Group, we’ve laid out more concrete mid- and long-term business strategy,” said Michael Son, marketing vice president of the midsized and large battery division at Samsung SDI. “We look to expand partnership with the global EV leader Hyundai, in particular, based on our ‘super gap’ technology and quality products.”

Sales of small batteries remained on a similar level to the second quarter, due to strong demand for cylindrical batteries for EVs despite sluggish demand for power tool batteries. The battery maker vowed to expand sales for cars and micromobility like e-bikes and e-scooters while securing new customers in Southeast and West Asian countries including India and Vietnam.

As for the electronics materials business, which showed improved sales and profit compared to last quarter, Samsung SDI said it is expected to see meaningful improvement next year, driven by a rise in demand for TVs with upcoming big sports events – the UEFA Euro and World Cup – and semiconductor materials.

Despite the global economic slowdown, EV policy changes in Europe and possible adjustments to the US’ Inflation Reduction Act, Son stressed that the consensus in the major research fronts remains optimistic on the mid- and long-term growth of the clean mobility markets.

The company’s next-generation P6 batteries as well as all solid-state batteries are expected to play a vital role in securing new deals with customers, according to Son. P6 is the sixth-generation prismatic battery product under development.

Samsung SDI will supply all solid-state battery samples to customers and carry out performance tests of the products in the fourth quarter. Discussions with a number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be carried out during the quarter to begin mass production in 2027.

By 2026, it plans to start full-scale production of 46 series cylindrical batteries with 46-millimeter diameters and forge supply deals with other OEMs in addition to General Motors. It has already manufactured sample batteries in the Cheonan plant in the first quarter of this year with a high level of production yield rate.

Although the company set out to develop its lithium iron phosphate batteries for energy storage systems later than its rivals, the products are scheduled to be launched in 2026 as planned.

Concerning the Chinese rivals, who have been expanding their footing in the European market, Son said the region has begun to mandate companies to localize the manufacturing of EVs and Samsung SDI looks to solidify its market positioning with a stable supply chain led by the Hungary plant.

Separately, Son also projected the ongoing strike by the US United Auto Workers will have little impact on the battery maker and said the firm will closely monitor the situation.