China-based battery maker CATL had a strong 2022 despite the challenges caused by COVID-19 and the lithium price hike. The company saw a 152% growth in revenue and a 92.9% increase in net profit last year. However, its profit growth was much lower in the fourth quarter.
CATL released its 2022 annual report on March 9.
Highlights of CATL's 2022 annual report
Result (CNY billion)
YoY change (%)
EV battery sales volume (GWh)
Battery production volume (GWh)
Source: CATL, compiled by DIGITIMES Asia, March 2023
According to South Korea-based SNE Research, global EV battery usage reached 517.9GWh in 2022, growing 71.8% from the previous year. Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show the EV penetration rate surpassed 25% in China, where CATL generates the most revenue.
The company saw a lithium-ion battery sales volume of 289GWh last year, with EV batteries taking up 83.7%. According to the report, EV batteries brought the company about CNY236.6 billion (US$33.5 billion) in revenue, accounting for 72% of the total revenue. But battery gross profit rate in 2022 was down by 4.83% from 2021.
Notably, revenue generated overseas made up more of CATL's total revenue last year, growing from 21.38% to 23.41%. The company identified several major customers outside China, including Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Honda.
According to the report, CATL achieved a production capacity of 390GWh in 2022. Its production volume was 325GWh, a 100.2% increase from 2021.
The battery maker reported revenue of CNY118.3 billion and a net profit of CNY13.1 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. Both numbers were record-high. However, it saw a much slower net profit growth rate at 60% year-over-year. It enjoyed an increase of 188.4% in net profit in the third quarter and 163.9% in the second quarter of 2022.
The lower profit growth in the fourth quarter was mainly because the surging COVID-19 cases disrupted production and demand. The high lithium prices also affected CATL's profit.
The company has been longing to gain a local presence in North America, a market that is expected to scale up EV adoption quickly. It announced in February that it will license the battery technologies to Ford for the carmaker's EV battery plant in the US.
The partnership will likely see challenges coming from the US and China as tension between the two countries continues. According to Reuters, US Senator Marco Rubio introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent Ford-made batteries from being eligible for the EV tax credits due to the use of Chinese technologies.
Before announcing its cooperation with Ford to build a battery plant, CATL was reportedly exploring different sites in North America, including Mexico. The company's annual report showed that it had established a subsidiary, Contemporary Amperex Technology Mexico, in the country last year.