STAR Adds AM Speed: BLT Chased by Shining 3D
COVID-19 and China
Gray machine. Image credit: Samuel Zeller/ Unsplash

China’s largest manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems, Xi'an Bright Laser Technologies (BLT) looks to list on SSE STAR Market next Monday, priced at CNY 33 (USD 4.80). The firm’s products are scattering in the whole supply chain and it enjoyed a fast-growing period, with a stable gross profit level.

Additive manufacturing can solve many headaches in manufacturing. After two decades of efforts, the technology is finally moving into the production phase. But still in an early stage. That makes players in the field tend to cover the whole supply chain: upstream – manufacturing AM materials such as Metals and Thermoplastics; midstream- manufacturing or producing AM printers and services; downstream- serving end use with customized applications.

BLT’s business covers the three aspects, representing 4.12%, 49.26% (selling agent printers from suppliers like EOS GmbH included) and 41.92% in its revenue last year. The AM player maintained a sustainable revenue growth of around 32% (year-on-year). Founded in 2022, the company witness a drastic increase in net profit last year, growing 67.65% compared to 2017. 3D printing customized product contributed 54.33% to gross profit last year, the highest business among three main businesses. That because client needs for 3D printed products in the burgeoning technology are small-sized and customized, according to Founder Securities. 3D Printing applications for aerospace posted an average 58.17% gross profit in 2018, according to Wind, a little bit higher that of BLT.

The aerospace and industrial is becoming more dependent on state-of-the-art technology, as clients from the two industries made up the firm’s nearly 86% of revenue in 2018. Aerospace parts are required to have excellent corrosion resistance as well as inherent strength, 3D printed airframes can meet those demands well.

With more than 25% of employees involved in R&D and 8.79% of spending in R&D, BLT is a technology-intensive enterprise. But still, its rival Shining 3D (NEEQ: 830978, 先临三维) that seeks to list on the STAR Market as well, posted 1.4 times higher revenue than that of BLT while putting 3.7 times more money in R&D than BLT in 2018.

The 3D metal printing market is projected to grow from USD 590.4 million in 2018 to USD 2 billion by 2023, mainly driven by the increasing use of metal 3D printing processes in the aerospace, defense, medical and dental industries.

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