Last year, despite the coronavirus crisis, Primoco UAV increased sales by more than nineteen times, reducing its operating EBITDA loss by almost three quarters to CZK 4.98 million. The favourable results are mainly due to new sales of unmanned aircraft and spare parts.
Together with the financial results for 2020, the company announced that it is considering issuing 500,000 new shares in addition to the existing 4.34 million shares. It intends to use the funds raised to prepare for construction of a new production plant and the development of new technologies.
From March 1, 2021, the size of the lot for trading in Primoco UAV securities on the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange decreased. The shares are thus more accessible to smaller retail investors.
By the end of 2021, Primoco UAV expects production to double. At the same time, it is negotiating contracts for the supply of another 67 unmanned aircraft for 16 new customers with a total value of over one billion CZK.
Prague, 1st March 2021 – Primoco UAV SE, the Czech manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, generated revenues of CZK 30.78 million last year which is an increase of more than nineteen times compared to 2019. The company, whose shares are traded on the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange, reduced its operating EBITDA loss to CZK 4.98 million from CZK 20.95 million in 2019. “In 2020, we started to benefit from our investments and hard work from previous years. Not only did we manage to significantly increase sales and even achieve a positive EBITDA result for the first time in the first half of 2020 but above all we concluded contracts with customers for a total of CZK 117.5 million. This shows great promise for the future results and development of the company,” said Primoco UAV CEO Ladislav Semetkovský.
On one hand, the coronavirus crisis has complicated the Czech unmanned aircraft manufacturer’s ability to meet new customers abroad, show them machines and close new deals, but on the other hand it has helped to gain new customers, especially at home. During the state of emergency, Primoco UAV worked for the Police of the Czech Republic, with which, among other things, it successfully tested the concept of border protection in the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) mode. “We are now also discussing the possible use of our machines within the integrated rescue system. The Czech Republic would use a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles to co-ordinate rescue work or search for missing persons,” said Semetkovský.
At the same time, Primoco UAV continues to work on developing co-operation with military authorities. On October 26, 2020, the company was recognized by the Department of Military Aviation Surveillance of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic as an approved organization for military production and development. The granting of the authorization is the completion of the first stage of the long-term process for obtaining a military type certificate for the Primoco UAV One 150 aircraft model. The company does not manufacture combat aircraft but delivers special sensors and electronics.
The work and knowledge of the former Mig-21 fighter pilot retired General Ing. Josef Rada, who was appointed a member of the company’s Supervisory Board on July 8, 2020, helps with the process of approval of military and local processes for certification of technology for military production and development of Primoco UAV.
Technological Innovations and New Records
In 2020, Primoco UAV developed its technical and technological expertise. In the first half of 2020, it received the ISO 9001 quality certificate and began the process of certification of a new unmanned aircraft according to the NATO STANAG 4703 standard. In August and September 2020, it integrated a new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) from the American company Imsar into the Primoco UAV One 150. In this configuration, the machine is designed primarily for military customers and offers very interesting reconnaissance and detection capabilities which are currently provided only by very expensive manned aircraft from Israeli and American companies.
Během roku 2020 byl navíc dokončen vývoj produkční verze letadla Primoco UAV One 150. Ta prošla několika změnami, včetně instalace nového typu podvozku schopného In addition, during 2020, the development of a production version of the Primoco UAV One 150 was completed. It underwent several changes, including the installation of a new type of landing gear capable of better handling operations from lower quality runways, redesign of wiring to reduce maintenance requirements and increase safety, modification of aircraft software but mainly the integration of new high-end sensors. “The resulting configuration, which is now offered to customers, improves a number of machine parameters, including flight endurance, which has increased to more than 15 hours,” describes Semetkovský with reference to the record flight of April 16, 2020. To set that record, the aircraft took off from the factory airport in Písek – Krašovice for a continuous flight lasting 15 hours and three minutes. It covered a total of 1,650 kilometres with an average fuel consumption of 2.2 litres per hour of flight. It thus set not only the Czech endurance record, but also became the world champion in the given weight category.
The Czech manufacturer also confirmed that it belongs to the world’s technological leaders last year when it demonstrated a remote-controlled operational flight to customers in Malaysia at a distance of 9,700 kilometres from the Czech Republic. Customer representatives were on site for safety purposes. All maintenance work was also carried out remotely with the help of local technicians.
Favourable Outlook for the Future and Issuance of New Shares
Along with its 2020 results, Primoco UAV also announced that it is considering issuing 500,000 new shares in addition to the current 4.34 million shares. It would then use the funds obtained from the sale of securities to prepare for the construction of a new production plant and the development of new technologies. “Thanks to new investments, Primoco will move further on its path amongst the top global unmanned aircraft manufacturers. I would like to emphasize that Primoco develops and manufactures the large majority of its components, including the internal combustion engine, and is completely independent of suppliers,” says Semetkovský.
In addition, on March 1, 2021, the volume of the minimum tradable amount (lot) of Primoco UAV SE shares on the Prague Stock Exchange was reduced from 500 pieces to 100 pieces. According to Semetkovský, the company’s securities, whose current market price is CZK 240 per share, will be thus more accessible to smaller investors.
Primoco UAV’s outlook for 2021 is favourable despite the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. “We are negotiating contracts for the delivery of 67 unmanned aircraft to 16 new customers worth more than CZK 1 billion. By the end of this year, we expect to double production and to support this expansion. We have already started recruiting new employees,“ said Semetkovský, adding that another 45 new sales contracts are in the initial negotiation phase where customers are very excited about the possibilities of using unmanned aircraft manufactured in Radotín, Prague.
The outlook beyond the 2021 horizon also points to expanding growth opportunities for Primoco UAV. For example, research firm Macrosource Media expects global sales of civilian unmanned aircraft to increase to $11.8 billion in 2026 from the current $2.8 billion. Although there are over a thousand manufacturers of unmanned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in the world, the main competitors for Primoco UAV number only about a dozen due to the category, equipment and characteristics of its machines.