Sat, Mar 09, 2013 - Page 14 News List

LCD panel makers looking forward to China demand

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s two largest LCD panel makers, Innolux Corp (群創光電) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), yesterday reported declines in revenue for last month as demand for TV screens fell following the Lunar New Year holiday shopping season.

Innolux, which is the biggest TV panel supplier to China’s major TV brands, said revenue plunged 16.09 percent to NT$33 billion (US$1.11 billion), from NT$39.33 billion in January.

That was an annual decease of 11.49 percent from NT$37.29 billion in the same period the previous year.

Shipments of PC and TV panels fell 18.6 percent month-on-month to 9.02 million last month, while shipments of panels used in mobile devices shrank 17 percent month-on-month to 308.14 million units.

Innolux said last week that shipments of PC and TV panels were likely to fall by a high single-digit percentage this quarter from last quarter because of seasonal factors.

INVENTORY BUILDUP

However, the company plans to keep factory utilization rates at about 95 percent in preparation for inventory buildup from Chinese customers ahead of the Labor Day holiday shopping season in early May.

Major Chinese TV makers were expected to have cut their purchases of TV panels by 20 percent last month to 4.03 million units from January’s 5.09 million units, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch forecast on Tuesday.

Affected by slack demand, AU Optronics said its revenue shrank 3 percent to NT$27.73 billion last month, compared with NT$28.6 billion in January. Compared with the same period last year, revenue edged 0.8 percent lower from NT$27.6 billion.

Its shipments of PC and TV panels fell 7.2 percent month-on-month to 7.88 million units last month from 8.49 million units in January.

Shipments of flat screens used in mobile devices rose 3 percent to 9.28 million units from January’s 9.01 million units.

NPD DisplaySearch forecast that “the next wave of demand would start in late March ahead of China’s Labor’s Day shopping season in May.”

This month, Chinese TV makers are expected to buy 5.14 million TV panels, up 27.54 percent from last month, the researcher forecast. It said the Chinese government’s subsidy program for energy-efficient TVs would continue to spur demand.

REVENUE PLUMMETS

Smaller panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) yesterday said revenue plummeted 22.9 percent to NT$3.55 billion last month from NT$4.6 billion a month earlier.

On an annual basis, the figure was an 11.4 percent decline from NT$4 billion reported in the same period a year earlier.

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