Chinese injection press maker Haitian International Holdings Ltd. said a modest recovery in China's plastics industry last year and the release of the next generation of its molding machines pushed sales up 13.7 percent, to a record 7.2 billion Chinese yuan (US$1.17 billion).
The Ningbo-based company, which is one of the world's largest makers of molding machines, said that while the global outlook is definitely mixed, its China sales rose 19 percent in 2013, to 4.97 billion yuan ($808 million).
“Notwithstanding the fact that [the] Chinese [plastic injection molding machinery] market is still far from full recovery and only showed a mild recovery in 2013, we still achieved a record level of revenue and profit,” the company said.
“Unlike the overheated level in 2010, which was distorted by the release of suppressed CAPEX after the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, we believe the growth of demand in [plastic injection molding machinery] will be in a more sustainable way,” it said. “The [domestic] market has started to move from stagnation to slight recovery.”
It said that was driven by several factors including the continuous increase in plastic products consumption, urbanization and rising personal incomes in China.
Net profit rose 22 percent to 1.2 billion yuan ($195 million), which the company attributed to higher margins with its second generation versions of its Mars, Venus and Jupiter machines, more efficiency in production and lower steel costs.
Haitian said it was proceeding with previously announced plans for two new factories in Ningbo to handle the increased demand.
Globally, it said the situation was mixed.
Sales to developed markets like the United States and South Korea showed a strong increase, and the U.S. became Haitian's third-largest export market.
But emerging markets like Turkey and Brazil saw sales shrink, because of slower growth, political instability and investors leaving those markets in response to the U.S. government getting ready to end its quantitative easing policies, Haitian said.
“We cannot disregard that there remains some fragility in the economic outlook and we need to be cautious,” the company said, noting other factors like the slowdown in China's manufacturing sector since January and political flashpoints like Ukraine.
Still, it said in its business, sales of its second generation of Mars, Venus and Jupiter machines rose 18 percent, 22 percent and 39 percent, respectively, last year.
Haitian said it would focus future development on all-electric machines made by its Zhafir unit, moving larger sized machines to two-platen designs and promoting cost-efficient designs.