Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Quanta upbeat over notebook sales

RECOVERY:The notebook industry is making a turnaround this year, as users have discovered their ‘irreplaceable importance,’ Quanta chairman Barry Lam said

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), the world’s largest contract notebook computer manufacturer, yesterday said it expects its notebook shipments to rise at least 10 percent this quarter from last quarter, driven by better-than-expected global demand.

“The notebook industry is making a turnaround this year. The growth momentum has picked up compared with the past few years,” Quanta chairman Barry Lam (林百里) told a news conference at the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口).

Quanta shipped 9.2 million notebooks during the January-to-March quarter, falling only 12.38 percent from the previous quarter’s 10.5 million units instead of more than 20 percent recorded in previous years.

It also represented a nearly 10 percent increase from the 8.4 million units shipped over the same period last year, Quanta said.

Quanta vice chairman C.C. Leung (梁次震) said the growth momentum would extend to this quarter and demand for notebooks in the second half of this year would be better than in the first half on the back of the traditional peak season.

“It seems that end users discovered the irreplaceable importance of notebooks,” Lam said, adding that he expects annual notebook shipments to surpass last year’s 40.4 million units.

That would end two consecutive years of annual declines in notebook shipments for Quanta.

UPBEAT SENTIMENT

Leung said the company is upbeat about the annual outlook of its cloud-computing business, which includes wearable devices, supported by growing global demand.

“The wearable business is improving every year. The peak of wearable shipments this year is expected to occur during the holiday season in the West,” Leung said.

Quanta is the main assembler of Apple Inc’s Apple Watches.

However, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶) has reportedly made a deal with Apple to become the second assembler of the device this year.

“We are still a very important player in the wearable business,” Leung said.

Despite recovering demand in the notebook business, Quanta’s net profit plunged 22.8 percent annually and 31.3 percent quarterly to NT$2.79 billion (US$92.4 million) last quarter, the lowest in the past 25 quarters.

STRONG NT DOLLAR

“Profitability was eroded by the strong New Taiwan dollar, which appreciated 6 percent against the US dollar last quarter,” Quanta chief financial officer Elton Yang (楊俊烈) told reporters.

Gross margin fell by 0.25 percentage points annually to 4.73 percent last quarter.

However, operating margin rose by 0.27 percentage points annually to 2.79 percent on Quanta’s efforts to cut production costs and increase operational efficiency, Yang said.

Quanta’s PC-related business, including notebooks and all-in-one PCs, contributed 70 percent to last quarter’s revenue of NT$227.91 billion.

Its cloud-computing business accounted for the remaining 30 percent, the company’s data showed.

The company’s shares have risen 4.64 percent so far this year, closing at NT$63.1 yesterday in Taipei trading, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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