Tue, Nov 05, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Casetek now upbeat on sales

BIG NAMES:Apple generates 70 percent of Casetek’s total annual orders for its MacBooks and iPads, and Acer, Asustek, Lenovo, Samsung and HP are also clients

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Casetek Holdings Ltd (鎧勝), one of Apple Inc’s MacBook and iPad casing suppliers, yesterday said it would achieve year-on-year growth in sales this quarter, with a utilization rate of more than 90 percent after the resolution of labor and raw material shortage issues in China.

The two problems had caused the company to report an annual decline of 3.2 percent in sales to NT$8.27 billion (US$280 million) last quarter from NT$8.54 billion a year ago, Casetek chief financial officer Jonathan Chang (張昭平) told investors in a conference call. That fell short of analysts’ consensus of a sales increase of more than 20 percent, Chang said.

On a quarterly basis, third-quarter sales rose 14.7 percent from NT$7.2 billion in the previous quarter, he said.

“Overall, the labor and raw material shortages dragged down the company’s third-quarter sales by about 2 percent to 3 percent,” Chang said.

“While there is no direct correlation between sales and utilization rate, Catcher’s fourth-quarter sales are likely to achieve year-on-year growth, thanks to economy of scale,” he said.

During the July-to-September quarter, Casetek posted net profit of NT$1.32 billion, up 26.2 percent year-on-year and 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter, the company said.

Earnings per share during the July-to-September period totaled NT$3.89, up from NT$3.79 a quarter a year ago, Casetek’s financial report showed.

“Casetek never stops looking for new clients, as well as their orders for smartphones,” Casetek chief executive officer Gary Chuang (莊育志) said in the same conference call.

Apple is Casetek’s largest client, placing up to 70 percent of the company’s total orders a year for its MacBook laptops and iPad tablets, Casetek said.

The Taipei-based company also counts PC brands such as Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), Samsung Electronics Co and Hewlett-Packard Co among its major clients.

“Casetek’s sales performance looks promising over the next six to 12 months, as the company constantly optimizes its assembly lines to enhance competitiveness,” Chuang said.

“We aim to boost clients’ demand for the company’s products by providing them very competitive prices for different products, and that is why Casetek can always reach win-win solutions with its clients,’ he said.

As clients plan to initiate new product programs next year, Casetek believes the outlook for its annual sales next year would “stay optimstic” Chuang said.

The company is also in the process of diversifying its product portfolio and does not rule out the possibility of manufacturing casings for Apple’s new iPhone next year, he added.

However, Chang declined to disclose when its clients will roll out new products next year, nor did he say if orders from Apple will remain the company’s largest sales source next year.

Casetek’s shares closed up 3.17 percent at NT$146.5 yesterday.

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