Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 14 News List

LED monthly sales drop, but sector sees 13 percent gain from last year: report

BRIGHT SIDE:Despite sales being hit by falling demand, several companies were buoyed by the Chinese Golden Week, leading experts to be optimistic about future sales

Staff writer, with CNA

Sales of Taiwan’s light-emitting diode (LED) industry for last month fell from a month earlier due to a drop in demand, a research report said on Saturday.

In the report, LEDinside, a research division of market advisory firm TrendForce Corp (集邦科技), said the combined revenue generated by all the LED companies listed on the local main board and over-the-counter market reached NT$9.27 billion (US$315 million), down 2.28 percent from August.

However, last month’s figure was up 13 percent from a year earlier, LEDinside said.

Despite the retreat in overall sales, some LED firms appeared resilient on the back of rising LED television shipments, in particular after buyers from China built up inventories during the month in a bid to satisfy a buying spree during China’s prolonged national holiday period, LEDinside said.

In addition, solid demand from China reflected Beijing’s policy to dole out subsidies for purchasing eco-friendly home appliances starting from June 1, while the launch of new television set models also boosted buyers’ interest in the country, the researcher said.

According to LEDinside, several Chinese television brands — TCL, Skyworth (創惟), Changhong (長虹) and Hisense (海信) — enjoyed sales growth of 17 percent to 22 percent during the holiday period compared to a year earlier, while other brands, such as Konka (康佳) and Haier (海爾), witnessed their sales increase almost 10 percent during the same period.

The sales growth of LED TVs in China during the holiday period was higher than the market had previously anticipated, the research division said.

Although the Taiwan LED sector suffered a decline in sales for last month, strong demand for mobile devices and LED lighting could become a driver to sales growth in the future, LEDinside said.

It said Apple Inc has launched iPhone 5, while other smartphone brands and computer vendors will unveil their new products ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas season, which are expected to boost orders on LED equipment used in these new high-tech devices, especially for first-tier manufacturers, LEDinside said.

Taiwan’s LED industry is also expected to benefit from China’s recent announcement that it will provide subsidies to 39 lighting companies, because Taiwanese firms supply components to many of these Chinese firms, Primasia Securities Ltd said on Friday.

“Epistar (晶元光電) will likely be the biggest beneficiary as many of the subsidy winners are its clients, including Kinsun (勤上光電) and Yankon Lighting (陽光照明),” Primasia said in a note.

Epistar is the nation’s biggest LED chipmaker.

“We believe Epistar will increase its penetration in these companies, which will require high-quality chips to manufacture dependable LED lighting products to secure long-term business with the government,” it said.

Additional reporting by Kevin Chen

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