The company expects to return to growth this quarter.

Samsung SDI, one of the largest lithium-ion EV battery suppliers, reports that its large-sized battery cell sales decreased due seasonality in Q1 2021.

The overall results - both sales and profits - are down compared to the Q4 2020, but the business remains profitable and improved significantly from low base of Q1 2020.

  • Revenue: 2,963 billion KRW, ≈$2.66 billion (up 23.6% year-over-year)
  • Revenue (Li-ion Battery - xEV and non-automotive):
    2,387 billion KRW, ≈$2.14 billion (up 32.9% year-over-year)
    81% of total revenue
  • Net Profit: 150 billion KRW, ≈$130 million
    5.1% of net margin
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Compared to Q1-Q4 2020:

  • Revenue: 11,295 billion KRW, ≈$10.11 billion (up 11.9% year-over-year)
  • Net Profit: 631 billion KRW, ≈$560 million (up 56.8% year-over-year)
    5.6% of net margin
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Samsung SDI expects that the second quarter will be better thanks to the increase in EV battery sales for European OEMs as well as higher ESS (battery energy storage systems) sales in the U.S.

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Regardless of the sales fluctuations, it's great that Samsung SDI's battery business is profitable - similar to the case with Panasonic.

According to Adamas Intelligence, Samsung SDI was the fifth largest manufacturer by GWh deployed onto roads in newly sold passenger xEVs globally in Q1 2021.

Among Samsung SDI's customers is Rivian, which soon intends to launch its first two models - R1T and R1S - with 2170 cylindrical batteries. We believe that previously, most of Samsung SDI EV battery sales were prismatic cells (mainly for BMW Group).

So far we haven't heard whether Samsung SDI is willing to work also on Tesla's new 4680 cylindrical cells as some of the other manufacturers (Panasonic and LG Chem's LG Energy Solution). In any case, the midterm perspectives are rather good as the overall EV market is expanding quickly.

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