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Despite Doubling Quarterly Revenue, Robotics Maker Autostore Warns Of Impact On Margin Due To Supply Issues

Despite Doubling Quarterly Revenue, Robotics Maker Autostore Warns Of Impact On Margin Due To Supply Issues
The Norwegian robotics company AutoStore is expecting a hit to its earnings margins in the short term, because of a shortage in supply of some of the critical components used for its products, the company said this week. Prior to making this forecast, the company also reported a 59 per cent year on year growth in its revenues for the third quarter at $84.7 million.
AutoStore manufactures state-of-the-art automated warehouse technology and the Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank is its largest investor and has a stake of almost 40 per cent of the company. The company last month attained the accolade of becoming the most valuable new stock market listing in the last two decades in Norway.
For the entire year, however, the company retained its previously announced forecast for revenue of around $300 million and anticipates revenues to grow to more than $500 million in 2022. The company also retained its medium term outlook for annual growth of around 40 per cent.
There is a shortage in the supply of certain parts and materials that AutoStore uses to make its robots and even though this supply shortage is not likely to impact its long term growth plans, it certainly will impact the earnings of the company in the short term, the company said.
"There is generally a very tight situation when it comes to certain parts, due to the ongoing global supply chain issues affecting everyone, including for instance components and for aluminium," Chief Executive Karl Johan Lier told Reuters.
"We believe we're on top of this with regards to delivering the revenue growth we've guided for, despite this situation, though it can have some impact on earnings margins in the short term," he said.
for the July-September quarter, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $42.3 million was reported by the company, which marked an 88 per cent surge compared to the same period a year ago. Its EBITDA margin also eased to 50 per cent compared to 52 per cent in the same period a year ago
The CEO declined to comment on how much margin erosion the component situation could lead to.
"But we're very comfortable with our ability to deliver strong growth and strong earnings in both 2021 and 2022," he said.
AutoStore's shares have grown 29 per cent since their initial public offering on Oct. 20, making it Norway's fifth-most valuable listed company and the second-largest without significant government ownership.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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