Mobotix's Financial and Strategic Positioning 2009

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 24, 2009

Mobotix pursues an aggressive strategy contrarian to most megapixel camera companies. Committed to their decentralized approach, Mobotix has grown to over $60 M USD annual sales and to be one of the largest IP camera manufacturers globally.

Recently, Mobotix released their 2008/2009 Annual Report, providing an overview of their current performance and outlook.

In this premium section, we examine Mobotix's financial and operational positioning with a specific look at their slowing growth rate, evolution in products offered and planned shifts in markets served. For a background and introduction to their products, review our examination of Mobotix's megapixel product offering.

Financial Performance Overview

Financial performance is not as strong as Mobotix portrays in their press release. In that release, they emphasize 27.1% revenue growth for the just finished fiscal year compared to the previous year.

However, an examination of their Q2 2009 performance, relative to their Q2 2008 performance indicates only 7-8% revenue growth. [This was calculated by analyzing a number of documents and was confirmed in an e-mail with Mobotix] Unlike some companies whose growth rate dropped immediately after the September 2008 crisis, Mobotix's rate dropped later. Of the entire year, the growth rate was the slowest in Q2 2009.

Given that Mobotix's revenue was growing at almost 50% rate just a year ago, a drop to 7% is quite severe and significant. With the consensus that the global economy is improving, that rate should improve. However, it is a very real question how long and if they can ever return to the 40% growth rates.

General Metrics

Mobotix reports over 100,000 cameras in deployment.

Mobotix claims a 7.3% market share of network cameras (citing IMS). This would place the overall network camera market size at approximately $850 M USD.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Employee growth was very modest with total headcount only increasing 4% from 196 to 204 employees. This is an interesting metric, given the 27% revenue growth. The slow employee increase is a bearish sign. Mobotix does note that they plan to increase headcount in this new fiscal year but do not quantify levels.

Geographical Metrics

Mobotix's sales are very European centric. 75% of sales are within Europe, with their home market, Germany, alone accounting for 31%. The rest of the world, including both the Americas and Asia only accounts for 25% of sales - approximately $16 M USD.

While Mobotix does not itemize US sales, they note that US revenue increase 53.2% last year.

Product Metrics

53% of cameras sold are fixed cameras, 40% are domes and the remainder is accessories, etc. Included in the domes category are their hemispheric/360 degree cameras.

Domes sales drove growth in the last year with dome sale revenue up 58.8% (from 11.5M Euros to 18.3 M Euros. By contrast, fixed cameras grew fairly slowly - up only 9% for the year.

Product Developments

Mobotix focused their report around two key developments:

  • The introduction of a new processor technology, called P3, that doubles the processing power of the cameras. In their new products, Mobotix emphasizes a doubling of frame rates as a practical consequence of this. Mobotix noted that the, "product had to be adjusted mechanically in a rather complex process, which led to delays in the launch of new technology." However, they claim that this will enable substantial potential future savings. This was undefined.
  • Mobotix reported that their hemispheric cameras were the most successful product launch in the history of the company. Though they did not quantify this success, the strong growth in revenue from dome cameras (which the hemispheric cameras are part of) likely benefited from this introduction.
 
Mobotix is aggressively marketing their hemispheric camera lines (see our review of their Frost & Sullivan White Paper). In their annual report, Mobotix claims that they are "currently the only manufacturer capable of offering effective hemispheric video surveillance systems." I note at least 5 vendors with comparable offerings. Of course, Mobotix uses the word 'effective' so perhaps they believe those products are simply not effective.

Future Plans

In their report, Mobotix is clear that they are focused on being a "one stop shop for complete projects" and that they aim to put "pressure on pure-play software providers by offerings [Mobotix's] control center software free of charge."

More interesting is a claim about moving down market. Specifically:

"In coming fiscal year, further simplication of the products will also lead to a stronger focus on the private security sector (home security, medical care, consumers)."

That would be a major shift, especially given Mobotix's most common use in the professional/industrial markets where their high resolution and ruggedized form factors are highly valued.

Risks and Challenges for Mobotix

Mobotix's plans places it on a collision course with their VMS partners and fierce competition with lower cost Asian products.

The key risk is the schism between high quality cameras that appeal to the professional market and free software that appeals to the consumer/SMB market. Review our Mobotix product examination for an overview of the technological product issues involved.

At the higher end of the market, Mobotix's VMS has challenges competing with Milestone, Genetec, etc. Mobotix lacks the third party camera support, access control support, PoS/ATM support, true enterprise management, etc.  Large deployments have difficulties using a single supplier because of the constraints of any vendor. While Mobotix's free software and recording to NAS arrays certainly reduces costs, Mobotix deficiencies as a VMS software often offsets this benefit.

At the lower end of the market, Mobotix faces a number of Asian companies including ACTi, a powerful company in its own right, who has the same approach of being a one stop shop and giving away free VMS software. Mobotix's pitch of lower total cost will be hard to make against Asian companies selling $300 USD megapixel cameras.

At the same time, Mobotix clearly has a number of leading product offerings - the dual imager megapixel cameras, the hemispheric cameras, recording to NAS, not requiring an NVR, VoIP integration for door/access etc. For example, at the lower end, I am sure they can carve out their niches but it is questionable how large those niches will be. While they may be profitable in those areas, the total revenue potential may be limited.

While I do not think Mobotix is at risk of being pushed out of the market, there is a very real risk of Mobotix being marginalized. Mobotix could be squezed out of the high end by better VMS software combined with IP cameras using the emerging interoperability specifications. Mobotix faces similar risk at the low end from less functional but less expensive Asian packages.

5 reports cite this report:

Mobotix Sold to Japanese Manufacturer Konica Minolta on Mar 25, 2016
Smart move Mobotix. Taking a page out of the Axis / Milestone playbook, Mobotix has found themselves a Japanese company to pay them top dollar in...
Mobotix Stock Plummeting on Aug 18, 2014
Much like the company itself, Mobotix' stock has hit hard times, dropping more than 60% in the past 12 months. In this note, we examine what is...
Can Panoramic Cameras Replace 4 Channel DVRs? on Dec 09, 2009
In the December 2009 Mobotix Installer magazine, Mobotix contends that their Q24 cameras can replace 4 channel DVRs. It is an interesting argument...
Sales Almost Flat in Q3 2009 on Dec 02, 2009
In November 2009, Mobotix reported Q3 2009 sales which were up only 2.8% (Mobotix noted that the comparison quarter from a year ago was...
North American Megapixel Companies Expand into Europe on Nov 10, 2009
Avigilon is the latest North American megapixel manufacturer to expand sales efforts into the European market. Avigilon has hired 3 regional sales...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Ambarella on Computer Vision and US Hikua Ban on Sep 10, 2018
Ambarella, a widely-used video surveillance component supplier, is betting on the rise of computer vision and is already seeing a sales impact from...
Dahua Low-Cost 4MP Camera Tested (N44CL52) on Sep 10, 2018
4MP use continues to increase, especially in low-cost models, according to integrators in our 2018 Resolution Usage Statistics. We bought Dahua's...
Directory Of 110+ Video Management Software (VMS) Suppliers on Aug 30, 2018
This directory provides a list of Video Management Software providers to help you see and research what options are available. Listing...
Ligowave Wireless Profile - Ubiquiti Competitor on Aug 27, 2018
Ubiquiti has become the most common choice for wireless in video surveillance (see Favorite Wireless Manufacturers) but not without controversy and...
Inputs/Outputs For Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 24, 2018
While many cameras have Input/Output (I/O) ports, few are actually used and most designers do not even consider them. However, a good understanding...
Luxriot VMS Profile on Aug 23, 2018
Luxriot is more popular than Hikvision and Milestone products according to ASMAG which was probably even surprising to Luxriot. The company has...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact