July 20, 2023: Indian batteries producer Exide Industries is now close to being a $2 billion mid-cap business and is poised to unveil new investments in its core lead acid technology, MD and CEO Subir Chakraborty has revealed.
Chakraborty (pictured) said in the firm’s annual report, released on July 13, that Exide had flourished from being a single factory in West Bengal 75 years ago to become a “manufacturing behemoth” — with factories in six Indian states and an export footprint in 60 countries.
He said Exide achieved a post-tax profit of Rs904 crore ($110 million) for the 2022-23 financial year, an increase of 18% over the previous year.
Market capitalization surpassed Rs15,000 crore on March 31, “meaning we are now almost a $2 billion enterprise”, Chakraborty said.
Ebitda for the year was Rs1,568 crore.
Chakraborty said Exide will now build on its core lead acid batteries business by investing in advanced product development, including the commercial release next year of new AGM VRLA batteries for the auto sector.
Over the past year, the report says Exide secured lucrative contracts including a partnership with an unnamed major OEM for the supply of AGM batteries to support their transition from flooded batteries to more advanced and efficient AGM batteries.
Punched plate technology, which Exide said has seen “great success” in batteries for 4-wheeler vehicles, is now at an advanced stage to be launched for 2-wheeler batteries.
The company also continues to deploy its high performance sealed batteries to capitalize on growing demand in the telecoms sector with the rollout of 5G.
Meanwhile, the firm expects to ramp up production of its solar batteries to meet what the report said is an expected “solar revolution” in India.
Exide’s foray into the lithium ion sector is also gathering pace.
The company’s Exide Energy Private subsidiary, which operates the Nexcharge brand, is already supplying high-quality lithium ion battery modules and packs — and has provided “invaluable insights into achieving excellence in Indian climatic conditions and safety requirements”.
And its Exide Energy Solutions business is poised to start lithium ion cell manufacturing.
The report said “industrial exports have faced numerous headwinds, starting with the Ukraine war and winter recession in Europe.
“However, we are confident of bouncing back. To mitigate the risks associated with certain markets, efforts have been made to broad-base our exports by entering new and under-served markets such as Korea and Southeast Asia.”
Exide said it will continue to scope out new and untapped markets to expand sales across its product range.