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FANUC recently closed its April-June quarter with a net profit of 42.1 billion yen, around $313 million, a nearly 5% increase from last year. The company said it had strong demand for its robots in lithium-ion battery plants, due to growth in the electric vehicle market, and in the logistics and food industries. FANUC’s sales increased 14% to 211.5 billion yen, over $1.5 billion.
While FANUC’s sales overall increased, the company did see a 12% drop in sales to China, one of the company’s biggest markets. Shanghai’s recent COVID-19 lockdown delayed product deliveries, but FANUC president Kenji Yamaguchi said during the earnings call that demand in China has not changed before or after the lockdown.
FANUC isn’t alone in facing struggles in China, however. There have been reports of major layoffs at Pudu Robotics, a Chinese developer of commercial service robots. Pudu’s CEO, Tao Zhang, cited downward shifts in the global economy for the layoffs. Collaborative robotic arm (cobot) leader Universal Robots also said its demand in China was reduced due to COVID lockdowns.
FANUC’s quarter orders, which are typically early indications of earnings, hit 234 billion yen, around $1.7 billion, a 4% increase. Quarterly orders for the Americas rose 47% due to large orders from the automotive industry. Quarterly orders from China dropped 15% because of low orders for numerical control machines.
While FANUC’s operating profit shrank from the first to second quarter of this year due to higher material and logistics costs, its net profit increased due to the company booking 7.7 billion yen, over $57 million, in equity method investment gains from Chinese joint ventures.
In March 2022, FANUC added three new models to its CRX cobot series. The new models provide 5 kg, 20 kg and 25 kg payload capacities, providing heaving and lighter payloads than the original cobots in the line. The CRX line of cobots are designed for a variety of applications, including inspection, machine load/unload, packing, palletizing, sanding, welding and more.