Haitian emphasizes larger machines as domestic interest in small presses wanes

Chinese injection molding machine supplier Haitian International Holdings Ltd. generated $540 million in sales in 2008, turning a profit of $144 million, in spite of the fact that “the [economic] headwinds are stronger than ever,” according to executive director and CEO Zhang Jianming. The machine maker’s leader made that comment in an earnings statement for the year ending Dec. 31, 2008. Jianming said the global downturn translated to postponements of machine orders for the company and “modest drops in revenues and profits.” In spite of that, Haitian stated its belief that it “significantly outperformed the market.”

The company said a key to its performance was the decision to emphasize larger machines to offset shrinking small-machine demand in China. As the domestic market’s interest in small machines waned, Haitian International says it focused more intensely on medium- to large-tonnage machines. The result was a 13.9% increase in the sales of larger-tonnage machines, which Haitian says effectively offset declines in small press demand.

Haitian reported that in spite of the difficult environment, it was able to increase the average per-machine sales price by approximately 20%. This was due in part to a price increase as well as the launch of the Mars and Jupiter series machines, which Haitian says are higher margin offerings.

The company also touted its all-electric machine subsidiary, Zhafir Plastics Machinery GmbH, saying it expects construction of a new 4300-sq-m production facility in Ebermannsdorf, Germany to be complete by the end of the year. The company plans to build its new high-end Mercury Series at the site, starting in 2010.

Looking forward, Haitian said the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package announced by the Chinese government will stimulate injection molding machine demand and help the company since 60% of its sales are in China. [email protected]

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