Thu, Jan 12, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Lite-On optimistic about revenue growth for year

CONSIDERED:Building plants and developing an ecosystem for manufacturing is expensive, Lite-On said, dismissing Trump’s push to move industry to the US

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Electronics parts maker Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) expects revenue to grow by a single-digit percentage this year, attributed to rising demand for units used in cloud-computing servers, high-end camera modules and LED lighting, company executives said yesterday.

“These three products are likely to account for 30 percent of the company’s overall revenue this year, up from about 20 percent last year,” Lite-On said.

“Growth of the company’s bottom line is likely to outpace revenue growth this year, as Lite-On has been focusing on developing new and higher-margin products,” chief executive officer Warren Chen (陳廣中) told a media briefing yesterday.

“We recorded 6 percent annual growth in revenue last year, which is an uphill battle for same-scale companies like Lite-On to achieve,” Chen said. “We expect to see mild growth this year, too.”

New products including outdoor lighting, automotive headlights and rear lights, as well as components for industrial automation and medical devices will expand at the fastest pace; contributing about 20 percent of revenue, Chen said.

“We expect to see quite good growth for automotive electronics in 2017,” Chen said. “In addition to headlights and rear lights for cars, we are also supplying new cameras for autonomous cars for US and European automakers.”

Chen said the company is making progress toward its goal of doubling its share of the global car headlight market to 20 percent by 2019.

Lite-On, which commands 10 percent of the worldwide automotive headlight market, has landed orders from the world’s top five car light manufacturers to supply head lights and rear lights, Chen said.

Lite-On’s revenue rose to NT$229.54 billion (US$7.19 billion) last year, compared with NT$216.8 billion in 2015. In the first three quarters, net profit surged 45 percent year-on-year to NT$6.83 billion from NT$4.72 billion in the corresponding period in 2015.

Responding to questions about US president-elect Donald Trump’s call for companies to move manufacturing to the US, Chen said he “is conservative about this.”

To build a component manufacturing plant, companies need to consider whether they can reach an economic scale and the plant needs an ecosystem to support the production, Chen said.

“It will be more likely to assemble [car lights] in the US. It will be more difficult to produce components and modules,” Chen said.

Lite-On makes components for automotive lights in Mexico, he said.

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