Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Casetek posts record quarterly profit

ON WAY UP:Although the company had to pay more tax than in the previous year, it reported a quarterly as well as annual record net profit in the last quarter last year

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Casetek Holdings Ltd (鎧勝) yesterday reported a record-high quarterly net profit of NT$1.76 billion (US$57.99 million) for last quarter due to increased shipments of tablet casings. However, the figure missed analysts’ average estimate of NT$2.07 billion.

Driven by strong sales of Apple Inc’s iPad Air and iPad mini products during the year-end shopping season, Casetek’s annual net profit for last year set another record — reaching NT$6.12 billion — but fell short of the NT$6.48 billion forecast by analysts.

“We should control our operating expenses better in the following quarters to maintain the company’s financial health,” Casetek financial officer Jonathan Chang (張昭平) told an investors’ conference.

The company reported operating expenses of NT$1.03 billion last quarter, accounting for 9.2 percent of its total sales, compared with 7.9 percent in the previous quarter and 8.3 percent for the same period in 2012.

Chang said that net profit for last quarter grew at a smaller rate than expected because it had to pay more in taxes — NT$745 million — than before, since it lost some tax exemptions when some of its subsidiaries turned profitable.

“We shall be able to reap some [non-Apple] fruits as soon as next quarter,” chief executive officer Gary Chuang (莊育志) told investors.

Apple is the firm’s largest client, accounting for more than 70 percent of its total sales.

Casetek also supplies metal casings to notebook vendors such as Lenovo Group (聯想) and Hewlett-Packard Co, but the sales contribution from notebook casings is smaller than that from tablet casings, Chuang said.

Casetek will start supplying “different casings” to new clients from the next quarter as part of its plans to diversify its client portfolio and product mix, he said.

Chuang declined to confirm whether Casetek plans to supply casings used in smartphones, citing confidentiality agreements with new clients.

However, the new casing products would be designed for “non-tablet devices,” he said.

To handle the increase in orders from new clients, Casetek will begin building a new plant in Shanghai, China, later this year to boost its capacity, Chang said.

Total capital expenditure for this year has been raised to between NT$2 billion and NT$3 billion because of construction of the new plant, compared with NT$940 million for last year and NT$7.69 billion in 2012, he added.

Once the new plant is operational, the firm will have between 5,500 to 6,000 computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines operating on a daily basis, up from the current 5,000 units, Chang said.

“It is common to see companies like Casetek diversify their client porfolios to reduce risks, and there is a likelihood that Casetek’s new products are those used in smartphones,” Yuanta Securities Corp (元大證券) analyst Dennis Chan (詹宗勳) yesterday said by telephone.

“The new clients may not include Apple, but handset brands from Asian countries,” he said, citing the brokerage’s industry survey.

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