Wistron Corp (緯創), the world’s third-biggest contract notebook maker, expects its notebook shipments to grow about 20 percent in the second half of the year from the first half, Wistron chairman Simon Lin (林憲銘) said yesterday.
Lin said that every product line except for TV assembly should be able to maintain 20 percent growth as forecast at the beginning of this year, but that TV shipments were likely to drop in the second half or remain at the same level as in the first half of the year.
Besides TVs and notebooks, Wistron also makes handheld devices, servers, liquid-crystal displays and desktop PCs.
Saying that last year was a challenging year for the company, with a drop in profits compared with 2010, Lin said this year had also brought some big challenges, including the escalating eurozone debt crisis and China’s declining economic growth.
The impact from the eurozone and China was especially evident in the first quarter, when orders across product lines and industries shrank, Lin said. However, he said he had seen some good signs in the industry’s recent development.
In the past year, the notebook industry was hard hit by the success of Apple Inc’s iPads, but now customers have gradually come to the realization that iPads cannot replace notebooks, Lin said, adding that tablets have created both a separate need and a separate market. The notebook market has begun to bounce back as the impact from tablets dies down, Lin said.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is also on the horizon and has helped boost the morale of the non-Apple camp, as well as market momentum, Lin said, adding that Wistron would step up investment in touch panels to cope with the trend.
Lin said he had seen orders coming in quickly and was therefore preparing increased capacity. He said he expected the notebook market to grow slowly, but stably in the future, and forecast that the company’s shipment of notebooks in the second half of the year would top that of the same period last year.
Wistron said it shipped a record 31.55 million units of notebooks last year.
According to the company’s financial statement, Winstron’s consolidated revenue last year reached NT$658.37 billion (US$22.04 billion), with operating income at NT$10.58 billion. The company’s net profit last year was NT$9.07 billion, with earnings per share of NT$4.36.
Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$2.20 and a stock dividend of NT$0.50 per common share or 5 percent.