Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Hiwin upbeat about automation

NET GAINS:Demand for automation machines is currently high because of rising labor wages, counteracting the economic slowdown in China, Hiwin’s CEO said

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Hiwin Technologies Corp (上銀科技), which produces linear guideways, ball screws and industrial robots, said yesterday its sales would grow sequentially this quarter on the back of the improving performance of the semiconductor industry and the demand for automation.

“Although sales of machine tools dropped this year because of economic slowdown in China, the growth in sales in the semiconductor industry and machines for automation outweighed the decline,” Hiwin chairman and chief executive officer Eric Chuo (卓永財) said at an investors’ conference.

Chuo said the demand for machines to facilitate automation is high in China because of rising labor wages.

As for the fourth quarter, Chuo said sales may post quarter-on-quarter decline, but would still be higher than in the first and second quarter this year.

“The competition from Japanese machine tool manufacturers is likely to increase next quarter,” Chuo said.

Credit Suisse Securities’ Taipei branch analyst Jerry Su (蘇厚合) predicted Hiwin’s sales would reach NT$3.52 billion (US$117 million) this quarter and NT$3.47 billion next quarter, compared with NT$2.8 billion last quarter and NT$2.37 billion in the first quarter, according to a report issued on Aug 8.

However, throughout this year, Su still expects Hiwin to see a revenue decline of 1.63 percent to NT$12.17 billion from NT$12.37 billion last year.

At yesterday’s meeting, Hiwin said it is planning to build a center in Taiwan to produce machines used to make automobile brake systems.

Under the company’s plan, Hiwin has to build the center in the second half of 2016 in order to provide machines to its clients starting in 2017.

The company is considering building the center in the Taichung City Precision Machinery Innovation Technology Park, if it can win a bid for the right to use the land.

Another option for Hiwin is to expand its current factory in Changhua County, Chuo said.

Chuo said the company will adjust its capital expenditure this year if it can find an appropriate location for the center.

Hiwin also confirmed that it will build a subsidiary in South Korea next to the headquarters of Samsung group, one of its major clients.

According to Chuo, the company will invest US$4 million for the subsidiary.

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