“Primoco UAV was founded with the vision that our unmanned aircraft will gradually replace helicopters and small aircraft in civil aerial work. Monitoring of fires, control of oil and gas pipelines, security of land or sea borders and calibration of airport guidance systems. In these applications, Primoco UAVs are significantly cheaper to acquire and operate than manned machines,” describes the main shareholder and CEO of Primoco UAV Ladislav Semetkovský, adding that he was probably a bit ahead of his time.
Although the Radotín factory’s production is among the world’s largets in its class of medium-sized UAVs – with a flight time up to 15 hours at speeds of 120 kilometres per hour and a payload of 30 kg – customers around the world only realised their high added value with the war in Ukraine. They have proven their worth in live conflict thanks to their extraordinary characteristics, and even though they carry no weapons, their ability to perform reconnaissance missions day and night, fly fully automatically in GPS jammed areas, and use areas not originally intended for take-offs and landings has been praised by the military.
“In addition to customers from Europe, we are also seeing increased interest in Primoco UAV One 150 in Africa, Asia and the Middle East,” says Semetkovský, adding that a total of 150 machines from Radotín are performing civilian and military missions on four different continents. New contracts for the delivery of other Primoco UAVs have been concluded significantly in advance. This year alone, the company’s new orders are expected to reach one billion crowns, and in order to be able to meet the growing demand in the future, it plans to build a new robot-assisted factory on the premises of its own airport in Písek-Krašovice by 2027. This will increase production capacity by up to three times.
All this is reflected favourably in the share price of the company, which went public on the Prague Stock Exchange in November 2018. On the START market, where anyone can buy securities of small and medium-sized companies, Primoco shares are now quoted at CZK 880 (as of 13 September 2023). This is almost twice as much as a year ago. Since the beginning of this year, the price growth is 114%. For comparison, Airbus appreciated by 14%, Boeing by 8% and US military giant Lockheed Martin lost 12% percent in the same period. Nevertheless, Semetkovský sees potential for further significant growth by the Czech company. “We’re still at the very beginning. Not only as one Czech company Primoco UAV, but also as a whole industry of unmanned aircraft systems. Even big players such as Airbus are aware of this, and this year we signed a memorandum of understanding with its Defence and Space division for co-operation in the field of unmanned aerial systems. I consider this as a confirmation that a world leader in aviation sees us as a key pioneer in the field of unmanned systems. At the same time, it is the first step towards establishing a long-term business relationship,” concludes Semetkovský.
|Development of the value of shares of selected aircraft manufacturers
as of 13 September 2023
|Growth since the beginning of 2023 (in %)