AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, yesterday reported a 12.5 percent monthly growth in revenue last month, helped by a nearly 10 percent increase in its shipments of computer and TV flat panels.
The improvement in AUO’s revenue last month was part of a widespread pick-up in the nation’s LCD industry, as all flat-panel companies posted an increase in revenues, as well as shipments of their major products.
Revenues increased to NT$31.44 billion (US$1.06 billion) last month, up from February’s NT$27.96 billion, AUO said in a press release, joining bigger rival Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), which reported a rise in revenue on Monday.
Chimei Innolux said revenue rose 9.4 percent month-on-month to NT$40.79 billion, boosted by a 12.4 percent monthly growth in shipments of PC and TV panels.
AUO said its PC and TV panel shipments rose to 10.43 million units last month, up 9.8 percent compared with the 9.5 million units shipped in February.
In the first three months, AUO’s revenue fell 9.4 percent to NT$81.1 billion, compared with NT$89.51 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. That represented a 13 percent decrease year-on-year.
AUO beat its own shipment forecast of a mild quarter-on-quarter decline in the first quarter. The company shipped 1.8 percent more PC and TV panels, or 27.25 million units, in the first quarter, from 26.8 million units in the fourth quarter of last year.
AUO president Paul Peng (彭雙浪) said in February that he expected a price hike in some flat panels, such as 39-inch TV panels — a new and more cost-efficient size developed by panel suppliers.
Peng also expected that the company’s operations would improve quarter-on-quarter this year.
Market researcher DisplaySearch forecast in February that prices for PC and TV panels would rise by between 1 percent and 3 percent from the second half of last month.
Smaller flat-panel makers Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) and HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶) yesterday also reported monthly growth in their revenues last month, after they shipped more displays for mobile devices in continued efforts to shift more capacity to small screens from money-losing PC screens.
Chunghwa Picture said its revenue rose 3 percent month-on-month to NT$4.12 billion last month, from February’s NT$4 billion.
Its shipments of panels used in mobile phones and tablets increased 12.7 percent month-on-month to 40.77 million units, from 36.17 million in the prior month.
However, its shipments of PC panels dropped about 20 percent to 514,000 units last month, from 639,000 units in February.
HannStar posted 10.4 percent month-on-month growth in revenue last month to NT$2.9 billion, from NT$2.3 billion in February.
Its shipments of flat screens smaller than 10 inches spiked by 61 percent to 45.3 million units last month, from 28.13 million in February.
Shipments of monitors and TV screens inched up 2.4 percent to 127,000 units last month from 124,000 units the previous month.