Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Kinpo Group eyes 25% revenue growth

BULLISH Growth will mainly come from group member Compal Electronics, which is expected to ship 48 million laptop units this year, group chairman Rock Hsu said

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kinpo Group (金仁寶集團), which includes the world’s biggest contract notebook computer maker, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), aims to grow revenues by 25 percent this year as an improving global economy stimulates demand for electronics.

Group revenues this year could increase to US$33 billion, from US$26.4 billion last year, with the biggest growth coming from Compal, group chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said over a luncheon with reporters yesterday.

“We are seeing many bullish signs ... Notebooks, smartphones and some consumer electronics like Internet TV will have strong growth this year,” Hsu said.

Global shipments of laptop computers are expected to surge 30 percent to about 210 million units this year from last year’s 165 million units, which would help Compal achieve its target of shipping 48 million laptops this year, he said.

To support its growth and cope with the labor shortage in China, Kinpo Group plans to expand factories in emerging markets like Brazil and Poland, instead of building new facilities in China, Hsu said.

“We want to catch the opportunities arising from changes in global economies rather than focusing on low labor costs,” Hsu said. “We have no plans to build new plants in China’s hinterland, where the infrastructure and supply chain are inadequate.”

Compal’s rival, Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), however, plans to build a new manufacturing base in Sichuan Province as part of its long-term growth strategy.

“Labor shortages will be a long-term problem in China because of Beijing’s efforts to develop the rural areas, which could lead to higher labor costs and another round of labor shortages in the next two decades,” Hsu said.

To ease problems with the labor shortage in China, Compal has started operating a new plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early this year, with an initial output of 30,000 laptop computers a month, he said.

This new capacity is in addition to Compal’s major capacity expansion plan in Kunshan, one of its manufacturing bases in China’s costal province of Jiangsu, he said.

The group is also in talks with several Chinese colleges for possible investment to create a wider pool of talent, Hsu said.

Kinpo Group plans to hire 9,000 new employees this year, he said. The group had a work force of approximately 76,000 worldwide at the end of last year.

Seperately, Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信), another member of the group, aims to expand its customer base to 2 million this year, from 1.5 million last year, which would help the company break even in July, Hsu said.

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