Orders for Chart Industries’ medical oxygen critical care products increased by 34% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 over Q1 2019 due to demands caused by Covid-19.
Chart increased associated production by over 50% to meet continued demand for liquid oxygen for Covid-19 patients, according to the cryogenic equipment manufacture’s 2020 first quarter results (ended March 31, 2020).
All Chart manufacturing locations globally have been deemed essential business by each local and federal government and therefore continue to operate under this status.
Jill Evanko, Chart Industries’ CEO, “Typically, my quote would be about the financials and decisive, agile responsiveness during this unprecedented time. The related facts in this release contain that information, and instead I would like to thank our team members who, as essential personnel, have worked tirelessly and safely to increase production on critical care products that are being used globally to save lives.”
In March (2020), Chart increased production on specific medical oxygen related products by over 65% in the US and 50% in the Czech Republic. Order activity for its medical oxygen products used in hospital applications increased 34% in Q1 2020 when compared to Q1 2019 and increased 29% when compared to Q4 2019. The regional breakdown compared to Q1 2019 is: China, an increase of 69%; Europe, an increase of 21%; India, an increase of 122%; and the US, an increase of 39%.
Orders for Chart’s cryobiological product line - used for storage and transport of vaccinations, cell therapy and biological inventory - increased by 14% to $20.8m in Q1 2020 when compared to Q1 2019.
Month to date through April 20 (2020), Chart received more medical oxygen kit orders in the US than in the entire first quarter, and total medical oxygen specific demand is already at 35% of the first quarter levels. Chart expects this Covid-19 related demand to return to pre-Covid-19 levels later in 2020.
Chart’s Q1 2020 results also revealed the company executed on $49m of annualised cost savings year-to-date 2020, which is in addition to the $38m completed in 2019.
Chart also declared, “We are withdrawing prior 2020 full year guidance due to uncertainty of the duration and impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic but reiterate our long-term strategy and ongoing cost alignment.”
Backlog in China is $68m as of the end of Q1 2020, and subsequently, Chart received the largest industrial gas order in its history in China in early April.
Chart also said in the results, “Specialty market orders in the first quarter of 2020 were up 9% over the fourth quarter of 2019 and up nearly 11% over the first quarter of 2019. Specifically, hydrogen, cannabis and food and beverage continue to see demand, with fast food, convenience stores, and alcohol, wine, beer and cannabis considered essential during the shelter-in-place orders. We received an order for a study on using liquid hydrogen to fuel large marine vessels, which is the first of its kind. In addition to 35 customers each placing over $1m in orders in the first quarter 2020, we also had 15 ‘first of a kind’ orders for a variety of applications. These ranged from the first LNG regasification station in Malaysia to the first doser used for fuel additives to our first retrofit of an existing LNG baseload facility on the US Gulf Coast.”