Denmark-based Universal Robots has achieved 91 per cent growth compared to 2014, while delivering a bottom line profit of $USD 9.66 million before tax.
American automation equipment company Teradyne paid more than $USD 285 million for all the shares in Universal Robots in 2015.
The price of the company with 150 employees in Denmark reflected the expectations of significant growth rates in the robot industry; particularly, in the new market for an innovative type of robot called collaborative robots or cobots: low-cost, easy-to-deploy and simple-to-programme robots that work side by side with production workers to improve quality and increase manufacturing efficiency. Universal Robots is behind the invention of the world's first cobots.
The first cobot was sold in December 2008 and in 2015, the market was estimated at USD 100 million. The cobot market is estimated by some analysts to reach over $USD 3 billion by 2020.
Since 2012, Universal Robots’ annual sales have increased an average of approximately 75 per cent with 45 per cent of sales in Europe, 30 per cent in the Americas, and 25 per cent in Asia in 2015.
"In the coming years, we expect the market for collaborative robots to grow by at least 50 per cent annually, not least due to the short payback period, often less than 12 months,” said Universal Robots' CEO, Enrico Krog Iversen.
“We are the clear market leader and have considerably increased investments in engineering, sales and customer support to expand that lead. Although I will be moving from CEO to a consultant capacity at Universal Robots later this year, I’m confident that Universal Robots will continue to thrive using our crystal clear strategy based on three key words: Focus, Simplicity and uncompromising Execution.”