Wed, Aug 22, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Flat-panel makers’ growth momentum stagnating in Q3

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Revenues of Taiwanese flat-panel makers rebounded a quarterly 6.6 percent last quarter, but growth momentum is stagnating this quarter amid global economic uncertainties, a local researcher said yesterday.

In the seasonally slack second quarter, Taiwan’s biggest LCD panel maker, Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), and its local peers generated a total of NT$215.26 billion (US$7.18 billion) in revenue by supplying screens for TVs, PCs and mobile devices, up from the first quarter’s NT$201.92 billion, Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) said in a report.

Taking a closer look, revenues from LCD panels used in mobile devices shrank 4.1 percent sequentially to NT$43.35 billion from NT$45.18 billion as the eurozone debt crisis and slower-than-expected economic growth in the US cut consumer demand, ITIS said.

ITIS said in the second quarter, Chinese companies had seized some market share from local panel suppliers after their capacity and technological capability caught up with Taiwanese firms, while South Korean and Japanese companies maintained their dominance in the high-end mobile display market.

The Hsinchu-based researcher forecast that revenues of Taiwanese flat panel makers would inch upward 3.16 percent to NT$222.07 billion this quarter, mainly because of demand for Ultrabooks and non-Apple tablets.

“Since the industrial slump in 2008, the market has become extremely volatile and the seasonal pattern has fallen apart ... Order visibility is as low as one month or two,” ITIS analyst Nancy Liu (劉美君) said by telephone yesterday.

Liu said slowing electronics consumption is expected to stall demand for flat panels for the remaining months of the year. As a result, ITIS lowered its revenue forecast for this year to NT$928.92 billion, meaning an annual contraction of 2.4 percent. In May, Liu expected the figure would be NT$1.11 trillion, 16.6 percent growth from last year.

Revenues from mobile device panels are expected to expand 5 percent to NT$45.52 billion, regaining growth, according to ITIS.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, said last month that PC and TV panel shipments would be little changed this quarter, compared with the second quarter’s 31.7 million units. Prices would increase by a low single-digit percentage quarterly, it said.

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