Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 10 News List

BenQ president promises annual profit


BenQ Corp (明基) will be profitable this year, boosted by sales of mobile phones, televisions and liquid-crystal displays, the company's president said yesterday.

"It's evil not to be profitable," company president Sheaffer Lee (李錫華) said in an interview in Singapore yesterday. "The very first move is to be healthy in 2006. Mobile phones, TVs, LCDs -- these will be good."

He declined to give specific forecasts.

Lee's comments add to optimism about BenQ's earnings prospects this year, helped by the acquisition of Siemen AG's handset business.

The purchase gave Taipei-based BenQ a globally recognized brand name and boosted it to the No. 6 spot among global cellphone companies from near obscurity. The company gets more than 60 percent of revenue from mobile phones.

BenQ, Taiwan's biggest cellphone maker, also makes laptop computers, flat-panel screens and video cameras. The company is expected to have a net income of NT$1.2 billion (US$37 million) this year, compared with a projected loss of NT$1.36 billion last year, according to a Dec. 20 research report by Kent Chan (陳衛斌), head of Taiwan equity research at Citigroup Global Markets (花旗環球金融).

"We're going to be very aggressive this year," Lee said. "China's going to be the strongest market for us; Europe's next because of the Siemens brand."

BenQ unveiled six cellphones with the BenQ-Siemens brand at a conference in Singapore yesterday as part of a global display of new handsets.

The company will next display the phones, which include high-speed and low-cost models, in Indonesia and Vietnam.

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