Sat, Sep 08, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Chimei, AUO report more than 10% revenue growth

SEASONAL SALES:With the annual shopping season in China commencing on Oct. 1, Taiwan’s LCD panel makers are experiencing greater demand and sales

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s two biggest LCD panel makers, Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), posted more than 10 percent monthly growth in revenue for last month after shipments of flat screens for TVs and tablets grew, in a positive sign for the industry.

Chimei’s revenue grew 11.6 percent to NT$44.4 billion (US$1.49 billion) last month, compared with NT$39.8 billion in July. Last month’s figure was the highest since December last year. On an annual basis, Chimei’s revenue increased 5.66 percent from NT$42.02 billion.

The Miaoli-based company said shipments of TV and PC panels rose 10.6 percent last month to a record high of 13.89 million units from 12.56 million units in July, while shipments of small and medium-sized panels for tablets and handsets increased 7.8 percent to 36.56 million from 33.91 million.

Company chairman and chief executive officer Tuan Hsing-chien (段行建) told investors last month that shipments of TV and PC panels would grow this quarter from last quarter, boosted by sales of new models such as 58-inch and 29-inch LCD TV panels in China ahead of the annual holiday shopping season beginning on Oct. 1.

Chimei, the biggest LCD panel maker in Taiwan, is the biggest TV panel supplier to Chinese TV vendors.

AU Optronics, the nation’s second-largest LCD panel maker, yesterday posted 10.7 percent growth in revenue for last month at NT$35.1 billion from July’s NT$31.72 billion. That was up 6.7 percent from 33.27 billion in the same period of last year.

Shipments of small and medium-sized flat panels used in tablets and mobile phones soared 34.7 percent to 15.83 million units.

However, AU Optronics told investors in July that shipments of small and medium-sized panels would only grow very slightly this quarter from last quarter.

Speculation circulated that AU Optronics was picked to join LG Display in supplying flat screens for Apple Inc’s new iPad — which will feature a smaller screen of about 8 inches — after a Wall Street Journal report in July.

The company was scheduled to ship flat panels to Apple last month, the report said.

Shipments of PC and TV panels expanded 6.7 percent to 11.08 million units last month from a month ago, according to AU Optronics.

However, the company had expected a flat third quarter for its PC and TV panel shipments.

Market researcher NPD DisplaySearch yesterday said Chinese TV makers were beginning to refill the pipeline seasonally and that the supply of TV panels for certain mainstream TV sets, such as 32-inch, 40-inch and 42-inch models, was constrained because panel makers were allocating capacities to produce niche TV panels.

Some panel makers hiked prices in the first half of this month to reflect the tight supply of 32-inch, 42-inch and 46-inch TV panels, the Texas-based research group said.

Small LCD panel maker HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶) yesterday also said revenue expanded 12.9 percent from July and 9.6 percent from a year ago to NT$3.53 billion last month.

Shipments of LCD panels for monitors jumped 63.6 percent month-on-month to 160,000 units and shipments of panels under 10 inches in size expanded 8.9 percent to 43.16 million units.

Shares in AU Optronics rose to a more than one-month high of NT$10.05 yesterday, after the stock had been trading below the book value of NT$10 since July 24. Chimei shares rocketed 4.99 percent to NT$9.88, while HannStar jumped 6.67 percent to NT$1.6.

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