Thu, May 17, 2012 - Page 12 News List

TPK plans share sale to raise funds for big expansion

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

TPK Holding Co Ltd (宸鴻), Apple Inc's touch module supplier, yesterday said shareholders have approved to sell up to 30 million new common shares to raise fund for capacity expansion in preparation for a spike in demand after Microsoft Corp launched new Windows 8 system with key touch feature for mobile devices.

The share sale is planned for the second half of this year in the form of global depositary receipts, the company said.

TPK chairman Michael Chiang (江朝瑞) said messages from clients indicated that “we will have more customers and more applications [products] this year.”

The company is targeting increasing its customer base from 30 to 40 companies in an effort to reduce risk. Apple contributed about 76 percent of the company’s revenue of NT$40.48 billion (US$1.37 billion) last quarter.

“We expect that we will not have enough capacity to cope with demand for medium and large-sized [touch panels] in the second half, driven by the launch of Windows 8 for tablets, Ultrabooks and notebooks,” Chiang said.

To match demand, TPK plans to expand its touch module capacity for tablets and notebooks from 6 million units per month, if customers launch their Windows 8 products smoothly, Chiang said.

TPK said last month it had received more than 10 projects to develop new touch screens for devices supporting Windows 8 and that the number would increase in the second and third quarters as many global brands are aggressively engaged in developing such devices.

Next year, touch screens for tablets, e-readers and notebooks are expected to grow to 66 percent of the company’s revenue from last year’s 35 percent, while smartphone touch screens would make up a smaller share of 24 percent, compared with 60 percent last year.

Chiang said that recent speculation Apple is likely to use in-cell touch panels for its new-generation iPhone, which is widely expected to hit the market in the summer, would have a limited impact on TPK’s operation, offset by the increase in touch panels for tablets and PCs.

“We do not think any single [touch] technology will replace all technologies,” Chiang said, in response to a shareholder’s question. “The touch industry is booming, which means the pie is becoming bigger.”

To cope with the competition from the in-cell technology, TPK is scheduled to ship new touch panels using touch-on-lens technology in July, which will allow mobile electronics makers to offer more sleek devices with less weight.

TPK's shareholders yesterday also gave the go-ahead to deliver cash dividend of NT$20 per share and stock dividend of NT$3 per share, based on the company's net profit of NT$11.3 billion, or NT$46.12 per share, last year.

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