China Automotive Systems Reports Record Annual Revenue, and a 81.2% Increase in Diluted Net Income Per Share to $1.25 in Fiscal Year 2023

Published

-  Electric Power Steering ("EPS") Sales Increased by 24.6% in 2023 -

WUHAN, China, March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAAS) ("CAAS" or the "Company"), a leading power steering components and systems supplier in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and the audited results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023.

Fourth Quarter 2023 Highlights

  • Net sales increased by 23.6% year-over-year to $159.2 million
  • Gross profit increased by 38.8% to $34.7 million from $25.0 million.  Gross margin increased to 21.8% from 19.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022
  • Operating income was $13.6 million, compared with an operating loss of $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022
  • Net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders increased by 153.5% to $10.9 million, or diluted net income per share of $0.36, compared to net income of $4.3 million, or diluted net income per share of $0.14 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Fiscal Year 2023 Highlights

  • Net sales increased by 8.8% to an annual record of $576.4 million compared to $529.6 million in 2022
  • Gross profit increased by 24.5% to $103.8 million compared to $83.4 million in 2022. Gross margin increased to 18.0% from 15.7% in 2022
  • Operating income increased by 390.0% to $39.2 million compared to $8.0 million in 2022
  • Diluted net income per share increased by 81.2% to $1.25 in 2023 compared to $0.69 in 2022
  • Total cash and cash equivalents, pledged cash and short-term investments were $166.3 million at year end
  • Net cash flow provided by operating activities was $19.9 million in 2023.

Mr. Qizhou Wu, Chief Executive Officer of CAAS, commented, "Despite weak GDP data from China, we are very proud of finishing 2023 on a high note. Our revenue and profit growth accelerated in the fourth quarter. We posted a 24.6% increase in our electric power steering ("EPS") products which now accounts for 33.8% of total net sales in 2023. Our sales in Brazil rose by 22.9% in 2023. This strong growth in Brazil offsets weakness in North America in 2023. On our product side, we are encouraged by the growing sales of our EPS products and better economy-of-scale that boosted our bottom line." 

"In the first two months of 2024, automobile sales in China increased 11.1% according to statistics from CAAM. We expect our North America business to recover in 2024 and domestic China market to stabilize.  We remain optimistic about our market positions as many of our Chinese OEM customers are preparing for aggressive global expansion," Mr. Wu concluded.

Mr. Jie Li, Chief Financial Officer of CAAS, commented, "We entered 2023 with a modest goal but we overachieved it, by not only improving our product mix and controlling costs, but also regaining revenue growth. Our balance sheet remains strong with total cash and cash equivalents, pledged cash and short-term investments reaching $166.3 million at year end, or approximately $5.50 per share. Our current ratio is almost 1.5 on December 31, 2023.  Net cash provided by operating activities was $19.9 million while capital expenditures were $21.7 million in 2023." 

Fourth Quarter of 2023

In the fourth quarter of 2023, net sales increased by 23.6% to $159.2 million compared to $128.8 million in the same quarter of 2022.  The net sales increase was mainly due to a change in the product mix and higher demand for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. 

Gross profit increased by 38.8% to $34.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to $25.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.  Gross margin in the fourth quarter of 2023 was 21.8% compared to 19.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022, primarily due to a change in product mix.

Selling expenses were $4.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is stable compared with $4.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. Selling expenses represented 2.9% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

General and administrative expenses ("G&A expenses") were $9.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to $10.8 million in the same period in 2022.  G&A expenses represented 5.9% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 8.4% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Research and development expenses ("R&D expenses") were $9.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to $10.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. R&D expenses represented 5.8% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022, mainly due to a decrease in new product development expenses for the traditional products.  

Operating income was $13.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to a loss from operations of $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.  Higher operating income was primarily due to increased gross profit and lower operating expenses in the 2023 fourth quarter compared with the same period last year.

Interest expense was $0.3 million in both the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2022.

Financial income was $1.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, due to lower foreign exchange gains.

Income before income tax expenses and equity in earnings of affiliated companies was $15.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to a loss of $2.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Income tax expense was $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to an income benefit of $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.  

Net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders rose by 153.5% to $10.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.  Diluted income per share was $0.36 in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to diluted income per share of $0.14 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The weighted average number of diluted common shares outstanding was 30,189,421 in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared with 30,229,987 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Fiscal Year 2023

Net sales increased by 8.8% to $576.4 million in 2023, compared to $529.6 million in 2022. This increase was mainly due to higher sales of passenger vehicles in China, as total sales of the Company's EPS systems increased by 24.6% year-over-year and sales of the Henglong subsidiary's vehicle steering systems to the Chinese passenger vehicle market increased by 10.1% year-over-year.  Brazil Henglong's net sales grew by 22.9% year-over-year to $48.3 million in 2023.  This growth partially offset an 8.5% year-over-year sales reduction by North American customers in 2023. EPS sales represented 33.8% of total revenue in 2023 compared to 29.5% in 2022. 

Gross profit in 2023 increased by 24.5% year-over-year to $103.8 million, compared to $83.4 million in 2022. The gross margin increased to 18.0% from 15.7% in 2022 mainly due to a change in our product mix for the year ended December 31, 2023

Net gain on other sales in 2023 increased to $5.8 million, compared to $3.7 million in 2022 mainly due to an increased R&D revenue.

Selling expenses declined by 7.7% year-over-year to $15.6 million in 2023, compared to $16.9 million in 20221, mainly due to a decrease in transportation expense. Selling expenses represented 2.7% of net sales in 2023, compared to 3.2% in 2022.

G&A expenses decreased by 2.3% year-over-year to $25.5 million in 2023, compared to $26.1 million in 2022. G&A expenses represented 4.4% of net sales in 2023, compared to 4.9% of net sales in 2022.  This decrease was mainly due to mainly due to the decrease of allowances for credit losses.

R&D expenses declined by 19.1% to $29.2 million in 2023, compared to $36.1 million in 2022. The decrease was primarily due to the decreased R&D activities for new projects of the traditional products. R&D expenses were 5.1% of net sales in 2023, compared to 6.8% of net sales in 2022.

Operating income increased by 390.0% to $39.2 million in 2023, compared to $8.0 million in 2022. The increase in operating income was mainly due to a 24.5% increase in gross profits combined with an 11.1% decrease in operating expenses.

Interest expense was $1.0 million in 2023, compared to $1.5 million in 2022, primarily due to the decrease in borrowing rates.

Net financial income was $4.7 million in 2023, compared to net financial income of $10.8 million in 2022, primarily due to a decrease in the foreign exchange gains contributed by the foreign exchange volatility in 2023.   

Income before income tax expenses and equity in earnings of affiliated companies rose by 109.6% to $48.2 million, compared to $23.0 million in 2022. The change was primarily due to higher operating income in 2023.

Income tax expense was $5.1 million in 2023, as compared to $3.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, representing an increase of $2.0 million, which is mainly due to the increase in GILTI tax expenses.

Net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders was $37.7 million in 2023, compared to net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders of $21.2 million in 2022. Diluted net income per share increased by 81.2% to $1.25 in 2023 compared to $0.69 in 2022.

The weighted average number of diluted common shares outstanding was 30,189,421 in 2023 compared with 30,641,274 in 2022.

Balance Sheet

As of December 31, 2023, total cash and cash equivalents, pledged cash and short-term investments were $166.3 million. Total accounts receivable including notes receivable were $269.4 million. Accounts payable including notes payable were $253.6 million and short-term bank loans were $48.0 million. Total parent company stockholders' equity was $344.5 million as of December 31, 2023, compared to $311.7 million as of December 31, 2022. Net cash flow from operating activities was $19.9 million in 2023, compared to $48.0 million in 2022.  Cash paid to acquire property, plant and equipment and land use rights was $18.2 million in 2023, compared to $20.3 million in 2022.

Business Outlook

Management provides revenue guidance for the fiscal year 2024 of $605.0 million.  This target is based on the Company's current views on operating and market conditions, which are subject to change.

Conference Call

Management will conduct a conference call on March 28, 2024 at 8:00 A.M. EDT/8:00 P.M. Beijing Time to discuss these results. A question and answer session will follow management's presentation.  To participate, please call the following numbers 10 minutes before the call start time and ask to be connected to the "China Automotive Systems" conference call with pin 493763:

Phone Number: +1-888-506-0062 (North America)

Phone Number: +1-973-528-0011 (International)

Mainland China Toll Free: +86-400-120-3199

A replay of the call will be available on the Company's website under the investor relations section.

About China Automotive Systems, Inc.

Based in Hubei Province, the People's Republic of China, China Automotive Systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of power steering components and systems to the Chinese automotive industry, operating through eight Sino-foreign joint ventures. The Company offers a full range of steering system parts for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles. The Company currently offers four separate series of power steering with an annual production capacity of over 8 million sets of steering gears, columns and steering hoses. Its customer base is comprised of leading auto manufacturers, such as China FAW Group, Corp., Dongfeng Auto Group Co., Ltd., BYD Auto Company Limited, Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd. and Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. in China, and Stellantis N.V. and Ford Motor Company in North America. For more information, please visit: http://www.caasauto.com

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are "forward-looking statements" as defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. Our actual results may differ materially from the results described in or anticipated by our forward-looking statements due to certain risks and uncertainties. As a result, the Company's actual results could differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 28, 2024, and in documents subsequently filed by the Company from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any of these factors and other factors beyond our control, could have an adverse effect on the overall business environment, cause uncertainties in the regions where we conduct business, cause our business to suffer in ways that we cannot predict and materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. A prolonged disruption or any further unforeseen delay in our operations of the manufacturing, delivery and assembly process within any of our production facilities could continue to result in delays in the shipment of products to our customers, increased costs and reduced revenue. We expressly disclaim any duty to provide updates to any forward-looking statements made in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

Jie LiChief Financial OfficerChina Automotive Systems, Inc.Email: jieli@chl.com.cn 

Kevin TheissInvestor Relations+1-212-510-8922Email: Kevin@awakenlab.com

-Tables Follow –

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands of USD, except share and per share amounts)

December 31

2023

2022

ASSETS

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

114,660

$

121,216

Pledged cash

40,534

37,735

Short-term investments

11,084

12,861

Accounts and notes receivable, net - unrelated parties (Allowance for credit losses of $15,599 and

   $14,359, respectively)

261,237

214,308

Accounts and notes receivable, net - related parties (Allowance for credit losses of $1,404 and    $1,763, respectively)

8,169

10,016

Advance payments and others, net - unrelated parties (Allowance for credit losses of $22 and $115,    respectively)

14,008

10,907

Advance payments and others - related parties

1,991

1,439

Inventories

112,392

112,236

Total current assets

564,075

520,718

Non-current assets:

Property, plant and equipment, net

101,359

106,606

Land use rights, net

9,233

9,555

Intangible assets, net

3,865

1,273

Operating lease assets

278

477

Long-term time deposits

8,647

Other receivables, net (Allowance for credit losses of $49 and $50, respectively)

598

46

Advance payment for property, plant and equipment - unrelated parties

3,554

6,331

Advance payment for property, plant and equipment - related parties

5,759

1,884

Long-term investments

60,173

59,810

Deferred tax assets

8,899

7,652

Total assets

$

766,440

$

714,352

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities:

Short-term bank loans

$

48,005

$

45,671

Accounts and notes payable - unrelated parties

240,739

218,412

Accounts and notes payable - related parties

12,839

16,695

Customer deposits

8,633

5,654

Accrued payroll and related costs

11,282

11,628

Accrued expenses and other payables

44,771

48,311

Taxes payable

17,267

17,598

Operating lease liabilities - current portion

203

226

Total current liabilities

383,739

364,195

Long-term liabilities:

Advances payable

282

2,144

Operating lease liabilities - non-current portion

52

255

Long-term loans

1,221

528

Deferred tax liabilities

3,943

4,010

Long-term taxes payable

8,781

15,805

Total liabilities

398,018

386,937

Commitments and Contingencies

Mezzanine equity:

Redeemable non-controlling interests

613

582

Stockholders' Equity

Common stock, $0.0001 par value - Authorized - 80,000,000 shares Issued – 32,338,302 and    32,338,302 shares at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively

3

3

Additional paid-in capital

63,731

63,731

Retained earnings-

Appropriated

11,851

11,851

Unappropriated

284,832

247,174

Accumulated other comprehensive income

(8,258)

(3,413)

Treasury stock – 2,152,600 and 2,152,600 shares at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively

(7,695)

(7,695)

Total parent company stockholders' equity

344,464

311,651

Non-controlling interests

23,345

15,182

Total stockholders' equity

367,809

326,833

Total liabilities, mezzanine equity and stockholders' equity

$

766,440

$

714,352

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Income or Loss

(In thousands of USD, except share and per share amounts)

Year Ended December 31

2023

2022

Net product sales ($47,514 and $44,282 sold to related parties for the years    ended December 31, 2023 and 2022)

$

576,354

$

529,551

Cost of products sold ($27,288 and $28,810 purchased from related parties for    the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022)

472,603

446,157

Gross profit

103,751

83,394

Net gain on other sales

5,788

3,696

Operating expenses:

Selling expenses

15,610

16,910

General and administrative expenses

25,503

26,120

Research and development expenses

29,181

36,109

Total operating expenses

70,294

79,139

Operating income

39,245

7,951

Other income, net

5,345

5,782

Interest expense

(1,021)

(1,450)

Financial income, net

4,666

10,753

Income before income tax expenses and equity in earnings of affiliated companies

48,235

23,036

Less: Income taxes

5,137

3,082

Add: Equity in (loss)/earnings of affiliated companies

(360)

2,389

Net income

42,738

22,343

Net income attributable to non-controlling interest

5,050

1,132

Accretion to redemption value of redeemable non-controlling interests

(30)

(30)

Net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders

37,658

21,181

Net income attributable to parent company's common shareholders per share -

Basic

$

1.25

$

0.69

Diluted

$

1.25

$

0.69

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding -

Basic

30,185,702

30,639,102

Diluted

30,189,421

30,641,274

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income or Loss

(In thousands of USD unless otherwise indicated)

Year Ended December 31

2023

2022

Net income

$

42,738

$

22,343

Other comprehensive income:

Foreign currency translation loss

(5,191)

(29,934)

Comprehensive income/(loss)

37,547

(7,591)

Comprehensive income/(loss) attributable to non-controlling interest

4,704

(672)

Accretion to redemption value of redeemable non-controlling interest

(30)

(30)

Comprehensive income/(loss) attributable to parent company

$

32,813

$

(6,949)

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders' Equity

(In thousands of USD, except share and per share amounts)

2023

2022

Common Stock

Balance at January 1, 2023 and 2022 - 32,338,302 and 32,338,302 shares, respectively

$

3

$

3

Balance at December 31, 2023 and 2022 - 32,338,302 and 32,338,302 shares, respectively

$

3

$

3

Additional Paid-in Capital

Balance at January 1

$

63,731

$

63,731

Balance at December 31

$

63,731

$

63,731

Retained Earnings - Appropriated

Balance at January 1

$

11,851

$

11,481

Appropriation of retained earnings

370

Balance at December 31

$

11,851

$

11,851

Unappropriated

Balance at January 1

$

247,174

$

226,363

Net income attributable to parent company

37,688

21,211

Accretion of redeemable non-controlling interests

(30)

(30)

Appropriation of retained earnings

(370)

Balance at December 31

$

284,832

$

247,174

Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Loss)/Income

Balance at January 1

$

(3,413)

$

24,717

Net foreign currency translation adjustment attributable to parent company

(4,845)

(28,130)

Balance at December 31

$

(8,258)

$

(3,413)

Treasury Stock

Balance at January 1, 2023 and 2022 –2,152,600 and 1,486,526 shares, respectively

$

(7,695)

$

(5,261)

Repurchase of common stock in 2023 and 2022 –nil and 666,074 shares, respectively

(2,434)

Balance at December 31, 2023 and 2022 – 2,152,600 and 2,152,600 shares, respectively

$

(7,695)

$

(7,695)

Total parent company stockholders' equity

$

344,464

$

311,651

Non-controlling Interest

Balance at January 1

$

15,182

$

15,854

Net foreign currency translation adjustment attributable to non-controlling interest

(346)

(1,804)

Net income attributable to non-controlling interest

5,050

1,132

Contribution by non-controlling shareholder of Wuhan Hyoseong

3,459

Balance at December 31

$

23,345

$

15,182

Total stockholders' equity

$

367,809

$

326,833

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(In thousands of USD unless otherwise indicated)

Year Ended December 31

2023

2022

Cash flows from operating activities:

Net income

$

42,738

$

22,343

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

Depreciation and amortization

18,708

25,173

Deferred income taxes

(1,319)

1,243

Allowance for credit losses

1,564

4,404

Impairment loss on prepayment for investment in Hefei Senye

2,676

Equity in (loss)/earnings of affiliates

360

(2,389)

Impairment loss on property, plant and equipment

794

(Gain)/loss on disposal of fixed assets

(3)

58

(Increase)/decrease in:

Accounts and notes receivable

(50,699)

(36,935)

Advance payments and others

(3,881)

(41)

Inventories

(1,654)

(5,368)

Other receivables

(556)

Increase/(decrease) in:

Accounts and notes payable

22,024

27,271

Customer deposits

3,091

3,580

Accrued payroll and related costs

77

1,628

Accrued expenses and other payables

(2,667)

1,158

Taxes payable

(6,835)

2,925

Advances payable

(1,836)

297

Net cash provided by operating activities

19,906

48,023

Cash flows from investing activities:

Purchase of short-term investments and long-term time deposits

(68,550)

(80,244)

Proceeds from maturities of short-term investments

63,240

75,144

Decrease/(increase) in demand loans and employee housing loans included in other receivables

292

Loan to a related party

(146)

Cash received from property, plant and equipment sales

2,790

1,514

Cash paid to acquire property, plant and equipment and land use right (including $5,336 and    $3,445 paid to related parties for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively)

(18,235)

(20,296)

Cash paid to acquire intangible assets

(3,445)

(188)

Cash received from long-term investment

3,292

3,986

Investment under equity method

(7,729)

(12,802)

Net cash used in investing activities

(28,637)

(32,740)

Cash flows from financing activities:

Proceeds from bank loans

64,776

51,898

Repayment of bank loans and government loans

(61,437)

(49,917)

Repurchase of common shares

(2,434)

Repayments of the borrowing under sale and leaseback transaction

(1,130)

Cash received from capital contributions by a non-controlling interest holder

3,459

Net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities

6,798

(1,583)

Cash and cash equivalents affected by foreign currency

(1,824)

(14,248)

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

(3,757)

(548)

Cash, cash equivalents and pledged cash at beginning of year

158,951

159,499

Cash, cash equivalents and pledged cash at end of year

$

155,194

$

158,951

 

 

 

China Automotive Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (continued) 

(In thousands of USD unless otherwise indicated)

SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURE OF CASH FLOW INFORMATION:

Year Ended December 31,

2023

2022

Cash paid for interest

$

1,145

$

1,492

Cash paid for income taxes

$

7,965

$

4,044

SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURE OF NON-CASH ACTIVITIES:

Non-cash investing activities:

Year Ended December 31,

2023

2022

Property, plant and equipment recorded during the year which previously were advance payments

$

2,699

$

2,473

Change in accounts payable for acquiring property, plant and equipment

$

960

$

985

Year Ended December 31,

2023

2022

Supplemental disclosure of acquisition of operating lease assets

$

278

$

477

 

 

 

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