Thu, May 11, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Robots expected to boost Hiwin sales

MEDICAL SECTOR:The machinery maker said it would probably obtain certification for its surgical robots next month and secure orders in the second half of the year

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Hiwin Technologies Co (上銀科技), the nation’s leading machinery maker, yesterday gave an optimistic sales outlook for the rest of the year, with demand for “smart” equipment and industrial robots tipped to gain strength.

“Hiwin’s current capacity is not enough to satisfy orders from our clients, especially those in the semiconductor industry,” company chairman Eric Chuo (卓永財) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.

As part of the company’s mid-term plan to enlarge overall production capacity, a new plant at the Taichung Refined Mechanics Industrial Park is to start operations by the end of this year, Hiwin said.

With the new plant, the machinery maker aims to double the production volume of industrial robots next year, Chuo said, without elaborating.

Another factory at the Chiayi Dapumei Precision Machinery Park is to be completed in February next year.

The Chiayi plant, which cost the company nearly NT$4 billion (US$132.2 million) to complete the first phase, is to mainly produce linear guideways and ball screws, Hiwin said.

Apart from its core products, the company is also working on research and development of medical equipment, eyeing strong growth potential in the sector.

The company said it is likely to obtain certification for its surgical robots next month and hopes to secure orders from Taiwanese and South Korean customers in the second half of this year.

In the first quarter, the company’s net profit skyrocketed 98.6 percent to NT$286 million from NT$144 million a year earlier, supported by a better product mix, associate vice president Leo Liao (廖克皇) told investors.

That translated into earnings per share of NT$1.04, compared with NT$0.52 a year earlier, company data showed.

“Hiwin’s profitability could have been better last quarter if the New Taiwan dollar had not appreciated drastically against its US counterpart, eroding some profit,” Liao said, adding that losses due to changes in the foreign-exchange rate surged to NT$189 million.

Sales in the period increased 44.3 percent to NT$4.3 billion on an annual basis, bolstered by robust demand for its major products, the company said.

Linear guideways and ball screws remained the major contributors to sales last quarter, taking up 55 percent and 25 percent respectively, it said.

Hiwin shares yesterday rose 6.92 percent to close at NT$208.5 in Taipei trading after the company on Tuesday released its earnings results for the January-to-March period.

They have risen 40.9 percent since the beginning of the year, outperforming the broader market’s 7.2 percent increase over the same period, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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