SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — POSCO Chemical Co., a major South Korean manufacturer of secondary battery materials, said Friday it posted record-high operating profit last year, boosted by solid demand for electric vehicle (EV) battery components.
Operating income reached 165.9 billion won (US$134.7 million) in the January-December period, up 36.3 percent from the previous year’s 121.6 billion won, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Annual sales came to 3.3 trillion won, up 66 percent from a year earlier.
But it posted 121.9 billion won in net profit for the year, down 8.8 percent from the previous year.
The upbeat earnings came on the back of strong demand for battery components, the company said.
Sales of battery materials for EVs and energy storage systems more than doubled to 1.94 trillion won, with the operating profit from the sector more than tripling to 150.2 billion won over the cited period.
Sales in basic materials, such as refractories and burned lime, rose 19.8 percent to 1.36 trillion won in the same period.
POSCO Chemical painted a rosy outlook for this year, as the global demand for battery materials is expected to remain solid.
POSCO Chemical, the chemical unit under South Korean steel giant POSCO Holdings Co., began commercial operations at its cathode plant in the country’s southwestern city of Gwangyang, which has an annual production capacity of 90,000 tons.
The construction of its cathode plant in Pohang, a southeastern industrial city in South Korea, is expected to be completed within this year, along with the high-nickel cathode plant in Canada, being built under a joint venture with General Motors Co., that will be completed next year.
Shares in POSCO Chemical rose 1.44 percent to 211,500 won on the main Seoul bourse on Friday, outperforming the broader KOSPI’s 0.62 percent gain. The earnings results were released before the stock markets closed.