Innolux Corp (群創光電), the world’s fourth-largest LCD panel maker, yesterday said it expects a solid second half on the back of increasing demand for panels for notebook computers and ultra-high-definition TVs.
The company said its shipments of 4K2K TV panels grew in March and April, ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Statistics compiled by market researcher NPD DisplaySearch showed that shipments of flat-panel TVs to World Cup host Brazil soared 57 percent year-on-year to 3.3 million units in the first quarter.
Innolux said it expects the growth momentum to extend into September, when television makers start restocking in preparation for the October holiday shopping spree in China.
“The second quarter will be a better period than the first quarter, and we expect a vigorous second half as well,” Innolux president Wang Jyh-chau (王志超) told reporters after the firm’s annual general meeting.
Panel supplies for mainstream 39-inch, 40-inch and 42-inch TVs have tightened lately, while demand for TV panels bigger than 50-inches has also grown rapidly, Wang said.
In addition, global demand for 4K2K TVs has picked up at a faster-than-expected pace, he said.
“In April, worldwide 4K2K TV penetration jumped to 6.8 percent of overall flat-panel TVs, from 4 percent in March,” he said. “Client demand for ultra-high-definition TV panels bigger than 40 inches has exceeded what we can supply.”
Wang said he expects the global 4K2K TV penetration rate to exceed 10 percent this year — higher than market forecasts of between 6 and 9 percent.
Innolux is the world’s largest 4K2K TV panel supplier, with a 36 percent market share.
Wang said the company was sticking to its projection that 4K2K panels would account for 20 percent of its TV panel shipments this year.
Asked about the notebook panel supply constraint, Wang attributed it to reduced supply because most panel makers have allocated their capacity to making panels for other applications.
However, it seems that notebook shipments would be stronger than expected this year, he said.
For the whole year, Wang still expects the supply-and-demand situation to remain healthy.
“Market demand is quite good this year,” Innolux chairman Tuan Hsing-chien (段行建) told reporters. “We believe this year and next year will be the turning point... The worst period for the TFT [thin film transistor] industry is over.”
Shareholders yesterday approved a plan to issue 2 billion common shares via a rights issue, or in the form of global depositary receipts. They also gave the green light to a proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.15 per share, based on last year’s net profit of NT$5.1 billion, or NT$0.57 per share.
That translates into a dividend yield of 1.23 percent, based on the stock’s closing price of NT$12.20 yesterday.