Wed, Nov 09, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Casetek’s earnings badly hit by MacBook Pro delay

‘A GOOD CHANCE’:Casetek’s CEO said he is hopeful the firm would win a contract to supply casings for Apple’s iPhones, ‘given the client’s positive feedback’

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Casetek Holdings Ltd (鎧勝), a metal casing supplier for Apple Inc’s MacBooks and iPads, yesterday reported its lowest quarterly earnings performance in its history, due to the delayed launch of the new MacBook Pro.

Casetek’s net profit plunged 77.4 percent annually and 15.8 percent quarterly to NT$366 million (US$11.62 million) in the third quarter, company data showed.

Gross margin over the period dropped to 11.8 percent, a decline of 14.8 percentage points from last year’s 26.6 percent and 4.8 percentage points from the previous quarter’s 16.6 percent.

Operating margin also fell to a record low of 3.9 percent, compared with the same period last year’s 17.4 percent and the previous quarter’s 6.1 percent.

“The weaker-than-expected profitability and gross margin are mainly due to postponed shipments of new notebook computers,” Casetek chief financial officer Jonathan Chang (張昭平) told a teleconference.

Casetek chief executive officer Gary Chuang (莊育志) said revenues should begin to pick up this quarter, and that the recovery would extend through next quarter, as Apple started to ship the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros at the end of last month.

Chuang said Casetek secured the orders for the 12-inch MacBook last year and entered the supply chain for the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros for the first time this year.

“We foresee the revenue contribution from notebooks rising significantly next year,” Chuang said.

Notebooks accounted for 40 percent of the company’s total revenue, while its tablet segment contributed 50 to 60 percent, Casetek said.

When asked if Casetek has made progress winning a smartphone contract with its major client — as the company has for years been trying to enter the supply chain for iPhones — Chuang said: “I believe we will have a good chance next year, given the client’s positive feedback.”

“From iMacs, iPads to MacBooks … the [iPhone] is the only product we have not supplied. We will focus on developing this business next year,” Chuang said.

Chuang said he would not be worried if Apple decided to adopt glass back covers for its new range of iPhones instead of full metal casings next year, because both materials would require casing suppliers’ computer numerical control (CNC) machines and technologies.

Casetek’s board yesterday approved a capital expenditure plan of US$66.12 million for the purchase of 1,000 CNC machines over the end of this year and the beginning of next year, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Casetek said in a separate filing that its revenue plummeted 37 percent annually and 2.3 percent monthly to NT$2.54 billion last month.

That brought its combined revenues for the first 10 months of the year to NT$25.01 billion, the filing showed.

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