Q3 21: strong contract execution, as promised

Drone Volt has announced strong growth in Q3 due to the positive execution of its contracts with Aquiline Drones. Its ramp-up of H2 drones is the reason for this growth, which is expected to accelerate in Q4. Our guidance remains unchanged.

• 9-month revenues stood at €6,334k, a 92% increase yoy.

• 9-month Drone Volt Factory revenues reached €2,850k, a 123% increase yoy.

• 9-month gross margin increased to 35%, a 7-point yoy increase, due to Drone Volt Factory’s gross margin which increased by 13 points yoy.

• Q4 expected above Q3 in both sales and margins.

Aquiline Drones H2 contract bearing its fruits

Q3 was expected to be the start of the execution of the 600 H2 drones contract with Aquiline Drones. Indeed, this is advancing according to plan, with 204 H2 drones delivered in Q3. The ramp-up of production is expected to accelerate in Q4, with a 50% increase in the production rate per week. We expect Drone Volt to complete its contract by Q4, which should be a record quarter in sales for the company.

Other contracts still on hold

First, the other mega contract from Aquiline Drones concerning the H10 and H20 drones has still not been addressed. We believe Q4 will be the start of the execution of this contract, which should be lucrative for Drone Volt.

Secondly, the contract from a Central European customer on the H20 Spray drones has not led to any deliveries in Q3. The customer has pushed back the orders, though none have been cancelled at this point. This is due to the still strict COVID-19 restrictions that apply in this region. We believe that the absence of deliveries at this stage is worrying, as the delivery target of 275 H20 drones seems more and more distant. We will revise our estimates downwards regarding this contract.

Still searching for future acquisitions

Drone Volt has announced it has not come to an agreement with Skycorp. This partnership’s objective was to combine Skycorp’s hydrogen technologies with Drone Volt’s drones which would have various benefits on their capacities (longer autonomy, faster recharge time and better environmental impact). Nevertheless, Drone Volt is still searching actively for potential targets to improve its technology portfolio thanks to its strong financial position.

The positive execution of its H2 contract shows that Drone Volt is keeping its promises, with a Q4 that is expected to be better than Q3. In addition, Q4 might be the milestone of the first LineDrone delivery, which would lead to potential upside due to the high price of the latter. However, we will have to decrease our estimates for FY21, as the H20 and H10 contracts have been postponed again. This does not change the mid-term potential of Drone Volt, as there have been no cancellations up to date, and we reiterate our Buy recommendation.

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