Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Lite-On positive on long-term outlook despite uncertainty

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Local electronics component maker Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said its business outlook remained positive this year, but uncertainty about supplies of key components amid the devastation in Japan left its short-term prospects uncertain.

Lite-On said its component inventory would be sufficient for the company to ship products through May because it began increasing stocks in October as it predicted brisk demand for almost all of its products, such as handset camera modules, touch modules and power supply units, based on its customers’ forecasts, chief executive Terng Kuang-chung (滕光中) told a media briefing yesterday.

“Demand from the US looks quite good now,” Terng said.

The company maintained its forecast of revenues increasing by 20 percent to 30 percent this year from last year’s NT$123.46 billion (US$4.19 billion), he said.

“Visibility for June is very vague as uncertainty looms large after the earthquake,” Terng said. “We feel that the supplies of chemicals, substrates and chips are tight.”

However, Terng said Lite-On would benefit from the shake-up of Japan’s electronic component sector after the March 11 earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis shut down factories in the affected areas that manufacture crucial electronic parts, such as silicon wafers.

“It [a reshuffle] is happening, and we will become the second source [for component buyers],” Terng said.

He declined to provide any details.

Yesterday, Lite-On said its net income dropped 14.6 percent to NT$2.19 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, from NT$2.56 billion in the prior year, saying rising raw material prices and the strong NT dollar eroded gross margin.

Gross margin fell to 12.4 percent last quarter from 14.6 percent in the same period of 2009. Lite-On booked NT$20 million in foreign exchange losses.

On a quarterly basis, its fourth-quarter net profit shrank 13.6 percent from the NT$2.53 billion the company earned in the third quarter of last year.

For the full year, Lite-On’s net income hit a record high at NT$8.99 billion, or NT$4.05 per share. That represented a 27.4 percent growth from a net profit of NT$7.05 billion, or NT$3.20 a share, in 2009.

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