Sat, Jan 17, 2009 - Page 12 News List

HTC anticipating at least 10% revenue growth for full year


HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s largest maker of handsets using Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system, will have revenue growth of at least 10 percent for the full year, president Peter Chou (周永明) said at the company’s year-end party yesterday at its headquarters in Taoyuan.

HTC began selling its G1, the first handset using Google Inc’s Android software, on Oct. 22 with a forecast to sell 1 million units by Dec. 31. The company targeted shipments of at least 2 million Touch Diamond phones, which use Microsoft’s platform, by the end of last year.

Revenue last year climbed 29 percent to NT$153 billion (US$4.6 billion) while profit dipped 0.9 percent to NT$28.7 billion after costs were raised by a new accounting rule, that requires employee stock bonuses to be expensed.

HTC expects to release new Google-based handsets in Asia by the middle of this year, Jack Tong (董俊良), vice president for Asia-Pacific said on Nov. 26.

Meanwhile, HTC and Asustek Computer Inc 華碩電腦) incurred combined foreign-exchange losses of as much as NT$3 billion in the fourth quarter after a slump in the euro cut the value of their sales.

Asustek, maker of the low-cost Eee PC laptop, had a currency-related loss of as much as NT$2 billion, while HTC was hurt by up to NT$1 billion, officials at the companies said. They declined to be identified because the figures haven’t been formally disclosed.

Taiwanese firms face foreign-exchange losses as they are paid in euros for sales to that region while most of their costs are in US or NT dollars. The euro’s average value against the US currency fell 12 percent in the fourth quarter from three months earlier as the region slipped further into recession.

A 7 percent decline in the average value of the euro against the NT dollar in the fourth quarter from three months earlier contributed the most to HTC’s profit drop in the period, the company official said. HTC said on Oct. 31 that the currency would shave at least 2 percentage points from its fourth-quarter gross margin.

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