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Logistics automation company AutoStore has the potential to become Norway’s largest initial public offering in 20 years. There is a reason to be confident in the groups supported by SoftBank. E-commerce growth has boosted investment in logistics. This year, supply chain vulnerabilities and dependence on human workers are fully demonstrated. A punchy latent valuation of up to $ 12 billion is almost 50% higher than the valuation of a Japanese investment group company in April.
AutoStore operates with so-called cubic storage microfulfillment, where the robot selects orders from a vertical stack. This maximizes product space. Microfulfillment robots take individual orders on behalf of human pickers. This is a fast-growing subsector in the automation industry.
Warehouse robotics has been in vogue since the outbreak of the pandemic, following the boom in online buying. According to LogisticsIQ, sales in this sector will reach $ 30 billion by 2026, doubling in 2019. With only 10-15% of existing fully automated warehouses, there are significant growth opportunities. The AutoStore has a $ 3.4 billion purchase order or about 2,000 new projects. Revenues have reached $ 300 million this year and are expected to reach $ 500 million next year. This outperforms UK rival Ocado.
The 50% Ebitda margin also suggests a technological advantage over competitors. Ocado taken by AutoStore Legal action Last year, the logistics sector reported a 7% margin on alleged intellectual property infringement. Including sales from the food delivery business, Ocado is trading at four times the sales of next year as a whole. However, much of that assessment relies on the logistics outlook. In Lex’s calculations, this important unit is implicitly traded at 10 to 15 times the forward return.
AutoStore can look expensive when compared. At the upper end of the range, you’ll get 24 times the sales next year. However, consider that even if revenue growth is cut in half and margins are maintained, revenue multiples should reach 15 times 2025 ebitda.
It should satisfy the bull. In sectors with limited options, AutoStore creates compelling examples worth choosing.
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