June 5, 2019 / 9:07 AM / 14 days ago

Varta hikes production on demand boom, considers capital increase

June 5 (Reuters) - German battery maker Varta will increase production to over 100 million cells a year in 2021, it said on Wednesday, to meet demand in a market growing more than 30% a year thanks to trends for wireless connectivity and miniaturisation.

The company added it would make 80 million battery cells a year in 2020.

Varta’s previous plan, announced in March, was to expand the production capacity from around 50 million batteries in 2019 to around 60 million batteries in 2020.

“We are at the start of an enormous boom”, said chief executive Herbert Schein, adding that Varta was outgrowing the market.

The group targets global market leadership for lithium-ion batteries with a market share of around 50% in 2020, it added.

Lithium-ion batteries are used to power portable, cordless and wearable devices.

Varta said it will finance an investment of around 100 million euros with cash and a possible capital increase, adding the capital increase could be conducted in the near future depending on market conditions.

Shares fall 3.4% in morning trade after the announcement.

In March, the company announced an application for subsidies to mass-produce lithium-ion battery cells. (Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdynia Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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