Wed, Jun 06, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Largan revenue down 13.24% from last year

SHORT-SIGHTED:The lens-making company, which principally supplies optics for handsets, is to boost its cash dividend, despite a drop in customer orders

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Largan Precision Co (大立光), the nation’s leading maker of handset lenses, yesterday reported consolidated revenue of NT$1.18 billion (US$39.3 million) for last month, which was nearly flat compared with a month earlier, but down 13.24 percent from a year earlier.

Last month’s figures were the lowest since January’s NT$1.097 billion, as market demand remained weak amid uncertainty over the global economy.

In the first five months of the year, accumulated revenue was NT$5.998 billion, down 3.62 percent from NT$6.223 billion a year earlier, according to information posted on the company’s Web site.

The Greater Taichung-based company counts smartphone makers such as HTC Corp (宏達電), Apple Inc, Research In Motion Ltd and Nokia Oyj as its major customers.

On April 26, Largan chief executive officer Adam Lin (林恩平) told investors and analysts in an online conference call that sales would not pick up in the second quarter, which is traditionally a high season for tech product demand, because the number of customers adjusting their orders downward outweighed those adjusting them up in the quarter amid product transition.

At the time, Lin said the company expected a “double-digit” sequential decline in revenue this quarter and forecast margins would likely fall further this quarter. He predicted sales would ramp up in the second half, when most of the new products would be out.

In the first quarter, Largan’s revenue was NT$3.64 billion, 9.28 percent lower than the NT$4.01 billion in the previous quarter. Handset lenses accounted for 95 percent of overall sales in the first quarter, while those used in digital cameras and multifunctional projectors accounted for 3 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Analysts have said the company’s weak outlook for the second quarter was partly due to its lower sales exposure to South Korean and non-smartphone customers, but Apple’s new iPhone should help boost Largan’s sales in the second half, they added.

Largan is expected to update its sales outlooks for this month and the second quarter, as well as its views on the optical lens industry, at the company’s annual general meeting on June 18.

The company’s board in April approved a proposal to distribute NT$17 per common share in an all-cash dividend based on last year’s net income of NT$5.199 billion, or earnings per share of NT$38.76.

The proposed cash dividend, if approved by shareholders on June 18, would be 25.93 percent higher than the NT$13.5 all-cash dividend Largan paid last year.

Separately, Kinko Optical Co (今國光), a supplier of glass-lens kits used in products including Canon Inc’s digital single-lens-reflex cameras, yesterday saw sales reach NT$597 million last month, up 2.67 percent month-on-month and 23.19 percent year-on-year.

Kinko’s cumulative sales for the first five months of the year totaled NT$2.57 billion, up 22.22 percent from last year, the company said.

Largan shares rose 4.16 percent to NT$551 yesterday and Kinko increased 2.72 percent to NT$41.6, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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