Citing its increasingly expanding drone business, Paris-based electronics company Parrot SA says it will be creating a new, fully owned subsidiary strictly for drones.
According to a release on the company's 2015 second-quarter earnings, drone revenues came to EUR 30.4 million in the quarter, compared to EUR 10.5 million for the same period the previous year – an increase of 189%.
Retail drones generated EUR 22.7 million in revenue (75% of all drone revenues) – up 217% from the same time last year. Business benefited from the launch of the MiniDrones and Parrot Bebop, released since the third and fourth quarters of 2014, respectively, notes Parrot.
Commercial drones generated EUR 7.7 million (25% of all drone revenues) – up 129% from the same time last year. The consolidated subsidiaries, senseFly and Pix4D, are developing strongly on Parrot’s three target markets – mapping, precision farming and inspection – while waiting for wider penetration made possible by the definition of a regulatory framework for operations, particularly in the U.S., Parrot says.
Thus, the company says, it has embarked on a project to subsidiarize its drone activities (both retail and commercial) – which will result in the creation of a pure player for drones, a fully owned subsidiary of Parrot SA.
The project was approved by the board of directors on July 29 and will move forward over the coming months with a view to being effective from the fourth quarter of this year.
Lastly, to finance the external growth operations for commercial drones, Parrot has set up a EUR 50 million syndicated credit line, enabling the company to continue moving forward with its policy to acquire innovating firms – aiming to build up advanced capabilities in various fields to serve its three target markets without impacting its cash flow, according to Parrot. The credit facility is syndicated by five French and international banks.
Over the first half of 2015, Parrot achieved 40% revenue growth – up to EUR 140.2 million – driven by a 259% increase in the drone business, which accounts for
46% of the group’s revenues, the company says.