Hong Kong — Domestic sales declined but strong sales of electric and two-platen machines bolstered Haitian International Holdings Ltd.'s bottom line for fiscal year 2015.
Sales for Haitian International Holdings Ltd., China's biggest maker of injection molding machines, dipped 3 percent to 7.34 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, from 7.56 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) in 2014. Domestic sales were down 4 percent to 4.87 billion yuan ($748 million). Despite sales growth in Europe, South Korea, India, Mexico and Vietnam, total exports were off 1.6 percent to 2.29 billion yuan ($352 million).
Haitian sold 25,778 machines in 2015, down 4 percent from 26,839 in 2014. The average selling price for each machine edged up $2,000 to $278,000.
Operating profit grew 4 percent to 1.55 billion yuan ($238 million). The company attributed the gains to falling prices for raw materials and internal improvements that include an upgraded IT system, improved efficiencies in the manufacturing process, and increased production capabilities — a 120,000-square-meter plant in suburban Ningbo was dedicated last May.
The company is adding a production line for 1,000-ton electric machines to the Chunxiao plant, Haitian director Helmar Franz said. Franz in January retired from his decade-long roles as Haitian's executive director and chief strategy officer, but he continues to take an active role on the company's executive team.
Haitian's Zhafir Venus line of full-electric machines grew 29.5 percent to 678 million yuan ($104 million) on 1,552 machines sold. This year's Zhafir Venus 2+ models are incorporating a lightweight preplasticizing unit, the company announced. “There's no machine better than Zhafir in the price-performance of electric technology,” Franz said.
The company's Jupiter two-platen machines jumped 39.8 percent to 741 million yuan ($114 million). Meanwhile, the flagship Mars series comprised nearly 70 percent of Haitian's sales. Enhancements in the past year to the Mars series includes graphite copper and steel bushing, which reduces maintenance costs.
Haitian Executive Director and CEO Zhang Jianming touted the company's strategic move to an “application-oriented sale model.”
“This marks Haitian's transformation from a supplier of individual units into a supplier of a whole set of equipment plus overall solutions for our customers' production,” Zhang said. “We will further enhance our pre-sales and after-sales service network by setting up service and application centers and expanding overseas assembly plants.”
Having weathered last year's falling yuan and gyrating stock market, Franz said the company could adapt to all but the most sudden and unexpected macroeconomic shocks.
Despite the downturn in sales, Franz remains bullish on the mainland's economy. “Where is the crisis?” he asked rhetorically. “Some people talk about ‘the turning point in China.' What turning point are they talking about? This is a country with a 5,000-year-history.”
China, he said, was moving into a phase of smarter, more managed growth.
“When the top-line growth is reducing, that doesn't mean it's bad for China. Because at the same time, the portion of this growth coming from internal consumption and efficiency gains is increasing. ... For the Chinese, it is a better, more sustainable source of growth,” he said.