Catcher Technology Co (可成科技), which supplies metal casings for Apple Inc’s iPhones, yesterday said it plans to invest NT$5 billion (US$71.7 million) to build two factories to boost production in Taiwan.
The investment plan comes amid calls by the government for Taiwanese companies with operations overseas, primarily those in China, to increase investments at home as wages rise in China.
“Currently, our Taiwanese plants account for 20 percent of our total output. We are seeking to raise that proportion to 30 percent in the future,” Catcher president Allen Horng (洪水樹) told a press conference.
He did not say when the firm expects to reach that target.
Catcher vice president Michael Yeh (葉國珍) said that the investment project was expected to be completed by June next year.
Horng said the company would build a new plant the Yong-Kang Industrial Park (永康科技工業區) and expand its factory in the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), creating 3,000 job opportunities.
To fill these positions, Yeh said the company plans to hire 1,800 Taiwanese and 1,200 foreign workers.
For entry-level workers, the company is willing to offer a monthly salary ranging from NT$35,000 to NT$40,000 for those willing to work 10 hours a day on weekdays and until 5pm on Saturdays, Yeh said.
Casings which are produced using more advanced technology are only made in Taiwan, the company said, but Catcher financial director Amy Chen (陳美杏) added that when orders increase in the future, it may consider expanding production to China.
When asked whether Catcher is the major supplier of the casing for HTC Corp’s (宏達電) M7, the company’s new flagship smartphone, Horng only said that Catcher produces HTC’s plastic casings and the relationship between the two companies was becoming closer.
Last year, Catcher posted sales of NT$11.74 billion, down 29.15 percent from NT$16.57 billion in 2011, the Yongkang District (永康), Greater Tainan-based company said.
However, consolidated revenue last year rose 3.1 percent to NT$37.03 billion from NT$35.91 billion the previous year, company data showed.
Horng said he expected the company to post stronger growth this year.
Catcher shares edged down 1 percent yesterday. Its share price dropped 7.99 percent last year, underperforming the benchmark index, which rose 8.44 percent.