China EV battery maker CATL expects weaker earnings growth for 2023 Reuters via

© Reuters. An electric vehicle (EV) battery is displayed at the booth of battery maker CATL during the first China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE) in Beijing, China November 28, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery giant CATL forecast net profit growth of up to 48.1% in 2023 on Tuesday, representing sharply weaker growth than the previous year as it grappled with slowing demand and stiff competition.

The world’s largest EV battery maker has been faced with challenges from smaller rivals and slowing demand in China, which is the largest market for electric vehicles.

CATL expects 2023 net profit of between 42.5 billion yuan and 45.5 billion yuan ($5.92-6.34 billion), up 38.3-48.1% from a year earlier, a Shenzhen Stock Exchange filing showed.

That compares with a 92.89% net profit gain in 2022.

China’s second-ranked EV battery maker BYD (SZ:), which unseated Tesla (NASDAQ:) as the top EV maker in sales terms, on Monday forecast its 2023 net profit rose by as much as 86.5%, a much slower pace than the 446% seen in 2022.

Last year, CATL made up 43.11% of its home market, as measured by battery installations in China-made EVs, down from 48.2% in 2022, data from the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance (CABIA) showed.

BYD and third-placed CALB saw their combined market share rise to 35.7% in 2023 from the prior year’s 29.98%, the data showed.

In a sign of headwinds beyond China, the planned Michigan battery plant of CATL’s partner Ford Motor (NYSE:) has drawn fire from U.S. lawmakers for its use of technology supplied by CATL.

($1 = 7.1787 renminbi)

(This story has been corrected to say EV battery maker CATL, not EV maker, in the headline)