Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Asustek sales gain record US$1.67bn last month on ‘Transformer’ demand

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the world’s fifth-largest PC brand, yesterday reported that sales hit a record high of NT$49.29 billion (US$1.67 billion) last month on the back of strong demand for the company’s new Transformer-series detachable laptops.

“To catch up with market trends, we launched a couple of new laptop models in October and saw robust sales of the flagship Transformer Book T100 detachable laptop in the US and European markets,” Asustek chief financial officer David Chang (張偉明) said by telephone.

Driven by increased shipments of the company’s Transformer-series laptop products, Asustek’s sales last month expanded 18.73 percent from NT$41.52 billion in the previous month and increased 2.46 percent from NT$48.11 billion a year ago, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

In the January-to-November period, cumulative sales totaled NT$423.4 billion, up 2.98 percent from NT$411.14 billion during the same period last year, the filing showed.

“Data [on sales last month] showed that demand for laptops is picking up in the US and European markets,” Chang said.

“In addition to stronger demand, rivals’ retreat from the PC market is also one of the reasons Asustek can stay competitive and why it posted record sales last month,” he added.

On Nov. 13, Asustek chief executive officer Jerry Shen (沈振來) told an investors’ conference that Samsung Electronics Co had retreated from the middle and low-priced laptop market this year because the South Korean company forecast the overall PC market would continue contracting and turn less and less profitable.

With its Transformer-series laptops, Asustek aimed to compete with China’s Lenovo Group (聯想) — the world’s largest PC maker — and set a target of shipping 21 million to 22 million units next year, up 16.66 percent to 22.22 percent from its goal of 18 million units for this year, Shen said.

For this month, Chang forecast Asustek’s sales would decline at a single-digit rate from NT$49.29 billion last month.

However, Chang said that for this quarter “there is likelihood that total sales would achieve a growth rate that is higher than earlier estimates of 5 percent to 10 percent.”

In a separate filing, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), the world’s second-largest contract notebook maker, yesterday reported that sales rose last month to a 31-month high of NT$65.97 billion, driven by increased shipment of tablets by clients, including Amazon.com Inc and Lenovo.

The figure represents a 5.09 percent growth from NT$62.77 billion in the previous month and a 3.77 percent increase from the NT$63.57 billion recorded a year ago, Compal said in its filing.

Cumulative sales during the first 11 months of the year grew 0.72 percent to NT$628.02 billion from NT$623.55 billion during the same period last year.

Two other contract laptop makers, Wistron Corp (緯創) and Inventec Corp (英業達), also released their results yesterday, with the former seeing last month’s sales rise 8.15 percent month-on-month, but decline 14.77 percent year-on-year to NT$49.32 billion, while the latter reported sales of NT$44.6 billion, down 0.83 percent month-on-month, but up 14.57 percent year-on-year.

Wistron’s cumulative sales during the first 11 months piled up to NT$575.91 billion, down 4.4 percent from the previous year, but those of Inventec expanded 11.07 percent to NT$416.04 billion during the same period, according to the firms’ stock exchange filings.

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