Fri, May 16, 2008 - Page 12 News List

BenQ targets BRIC to drive sales

REFOCUS After stinging losses from its failed Siemens mobile phone venture, BenQ is concentrating on its original strengths: providing LCD projectors and monitors

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local electronics supplier BenQ Corp (明基) said yesterday it would focus on the fast-growing BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — market to achieve its revenue growth target of 30 percent next year.

After suffering heavy losses from its takeover of Siemens AG’s loss-making mobile phone unit and spinning off its manufacturing arm into Qisda Corp (佳士達) in September, BenQ now mainly sells own-brand electronics such as liquid-crystal-display (LCD) projectors and monitors

BenQ said it had chosen to refocus on LCD projectors and monitors — which were the major products it made before the Siemens deal — to regain its strength.

LCD monitors and projectors make up over half of its overall revenues, a company executive said.

“We have came up a three-year plan,” BenQ chief executive officer Conway Lee (李文德) told a press briefing yesterday.

“Mobile phones are no longer our focus,” he said.

high-growth markets

The company hopes to raise revenues by 30 percent by expanding into high-growth markets and developing high value-added products, Lee said.

“Latin American and the BRIC nations are fast-growing markets,” Lee said.

BenQ has posted impressive sales growth in the first three months of the years and plans to enter India later this year, Lee said.

Last year, BenQ made NT$60 billion (US$1.9 billion) in revenues with a big portion of the amount coming from its mobile phone business after taking over the wireless unit from Siemens.

At present, nearly 60 percent of BenQ’s revenues come from the Asia-Pacific region and China, the company said.

The company is exploring new products and is in final discussions with a European telecom operator to sell its first mobile Internet device that uses Intel Corp’s chipsets next month.

BenQ is also considering launching low-cost PCs in the fourth quarter, joining Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and major global PC vendors such as Hewlett Packard Co, Dell Inc and Acer Inc in tapping into this new red-hot computer segment, Lee said.

“We hope this will be an [business] opportunity,” Lee said.

BenQ aims to sell 500,000 projectors and 5 million monitors this year, Lee said.

He declined to provide comparative figures.

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