Tue, Nov 20, 2007 - Page 12 News List

MiTAC bullish on North America

GROWING MARKET North America now accounts for more than a quarter of global mobile navigation device shipments, jumping from just a 15 percent share a year ago

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sonia Sui poses in a wedding dress to endorse Mio GPS devices in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

MiTAC International Corp (神達), which owns portable navigation device brand Mio, expects to more than double its market share in North America this year, helped by an expansion into more retail outlets, a company executive said yesterday.

MiTAC said it sells own-brand products at major US retailers, such as Best Buy Co, and now has 14,000 outlets in North America, compared to approximately 3,000 stores last year.

"The retail channel is important for selling brand products because consumers need to get to know and try those products," MiTAC president Billy Ho (何繼武) told reporters yesterday.

EXPANSION

Ho expects MiTAC to take a more than 8 percent share of the North American market by the end of this year, compared to 4 percent last year as unit sales are expected to grow more than four-fold in the wake of the retail channel expansion. He did not provide any more details on this year's unit sales.

North America now accounts for more than a quarter of global mobile navigation device shipments, up from just 15 percent a year ago, figures from industry analysts Canalys showed.

Overall, unit sales in North America are expected to rise at a faster-than-expected pace to over 9 million units this year, from last year's 5 million, Ho said.

MIO

Mio Technology Ltd (宇達電通), which sells Mio portable navigator devices made by MiTAC, grabbed a larger share, 9.2 percent, of the world's mobile navigation devices market in the second quarter of this year, compared to 8.4 percent a year ago. It is now ranked the No. 3 mobile navigation devices vendor worldwide, Canalys figures showed.

"We are seeing strong momentum from the Christmas shopping spree in the fourth quarter," Mio Technology president Samuel Wang said. "We are shipping more products than we had previously expected."

Helped by the strong growth in North America, Ho said MiTAC could earn more than NT$4 per share this year. Earnings were NT$4.39 a share last year.

The company posted NT$4.65 billion (US$144 million), or NT$2.94 a share, in the first three quarters, up approximately 12 percent from a year ago.

MiTAC aims to ship 4 million own-branded portable navigation devices this year, which would make up over than half of its total shipment goal of 7.5 million units, up 67 percent from last year's 4.5 million.

MiTAC also makes navigation devices for other companies.

TARGET

Earlier this year, Ho said the company's target was to expand annual shipments to 10 million next year, representing approximately 33 percent growth annually from this year.

MiTAC shares dropped 1.66 percent to NT$35.50 yesterday in Taipei, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX index's 0.96 percent loss.

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