Wed, Apr 19, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Largan posts higher profits than expected on strong lens sales

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Largan Precision Co (大立光), the nation's leading maker of camera lenses, posted higher-than-expected quarterly profits yesterday, thanks to surging sales in mobile-phone lenses.

The company's gross profit for the first quarter hit 61 percent, up from 42 percent during the same period a year ago.

Net income rose 356 percent to reach NT$822.25 million (US$25.31 million). Net sales expanded 189 percent to reach NT$1.62 billion for the first three months of the year, according to the company.

Meanwhile, earnings per share were NT$7.17, soaring from last year's NT$1.57.

"We expect the second quarter's momentum will be pretty much the same as the first. We certainly wish for a better second half, which is a traditionally busy period for optical-lens industry," chairman and chief executive Scott Lin (林耀英) told an investors' conference.

Growth uncertain

However, Lin was tight-lipped on projected growth, saying that factors such as yield rates, average selling prices and orders need to be taken into account.

In the first quarter, 80 percent of revenues were generated from handset lenses, while digital-camera lenses accounted for 10 percent.

The Taichung-based company said that multifunctional printer lenses and projector lenses made up 7 percent and 1 percent.

"Largan's first-quarter gross profit was slightly higher than the industry's projection," said Tom Lu (呂文輝), senior vice president of fund management department at Uni-President Asset Management Corp (統一投信).

This dynamic result was attributed to the company's product mix, which was able to ride on market trends, he added.

Though strong growth in the global handset market will continue to benefit camera-lens makers in the next few years, Largan may venture into new segments to secure long-term business sustainability, he said.

Shares of Largan were up NT$0.66 percent to close at NT$612 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

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