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Chinese battery giant CATL forecasts strong profit growth

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd.(CATL), China's largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker, predicted a 20 to 45 percent growth in its net profit attributable to listed shareholders in 2019.

The company forecast that its net profit, excluding non-recurring items, attributable to listed shareholders was between 3.6 billion to 4.22 billion yuan (about 522 million to 612 million U.S. dollars) last year, up 15 percent to 35 percent over the previous year.

The company ascribed the growth to the fast development of the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry in the country, increasing demand for its products and the company's market expansion.

It also attributed the growth to its increased manufacturing capacity and effective efforts to control costs.

Net profits of CATL totaled 3.39 billion yuan in 2018. CATL is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

China produced and sold 1.24 million and 1.21 million units of NEVs in 2019, down 2.3 percent and 4.0 percent respectively, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The mild decline is attributed to the subsidy cut and the overall shrinking car market in China.

However, analysts believe China's NEV industry is still on the fast track. Statistics show that in 2019, the installed capacity of lithium-ion batteries in China amounted to approximately 62.2 GWh, a year-on-year increase of 9.2 percent. About 51 percent of the batteries are produced by CATL.

Over the past year, the company has made a series of key technological breakthroughs including self-heating technology that enables batteries to warm up from 20 degrees Celsius below zero to 10 degrees Celsius in 15 minutes and cell-to-pack (CTP) batteries that can increase mass-energy density by 10 to 15 percent.

Headquartered in Ningde, east China's Fujian Province, CATL has inked supply contracts with a slew of global car manufacturers including BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler and Honda.

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