Tue, Jun 27, 2017 - Page 12 News List

CPT to boost shipments of panels for cars

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd president Lin Sheng-chang, left, and chairman Lin Wei-shan attend the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (CPT, 中華映管) yesterday said it aims to boost shipments of high-margin LCDs for cars and industrial devices to account for two-thirds of its total shipments within three years as part of its efforts to accelerate turnaround.

The announcement comes as the company tries to improve profitability after posting its smallest annual loss in nine years last year.

CPT last year incurred a loss of NT$1.78 billion (US$58.68 million), narrowing from a loss of NT$8.76 billion in 2015.

“As CPT has swung into quarterly net profits, the company is undergoing an active transformation,” company chairman Lin Wei-shan (林蔚山) told an annual shareholders’ meeting.

The company is open to strategic partnerships in a bid to obtain fresh capital injections, Lin said.

The company has been seeking strategic partners over the past 10 years, but no substantial candidate has been found yet, Lin said.

The company’s priority is to increase the contribution from flat panels used in cars and industrial devices to two-thirds of overall shipments over the next two to three years, CPT president Lin Sheng-chang (林盛昌) told shareholders.

“Panels for cars and industrial devices are the company’s major profit sources,” Lin Sheng-chang said.

Flat panels for the two applications currently make up one-third of the firm’s total shipments, Lin Sheng-chang said.

A majority of its products are used in smartphones and tablets, which are vulnerable to industrial volatility, Lin Sheng-chang added.

CPT’s gross margin climbed to 31.62 percent last quarter, compared with minus-0.18 percent in the prior year, caused by growth in panels used in cars and rising prices of smartphone panels, the company said.

These helped move the company into the black last quarter with a NT$1.03 billion profit, compared with a loss of NT$2.91 billion a year earlier, it added.

CPT said it expects shipments of LCD panels used in cars to rise to about 14 million units this year from last year’s 13 million.

Lin Sheng-chang yesterday gave an optimistic outlook for the industry for the second half of this year.

“The supply-and-demand situation is becoming healthier as global capacity fell after some LCD manufacturers have shut down [less advanced] factories since the second half of last year,” Lin Sheng-chang said.

Demand for 18:9, or full-screen, displays for smartphones will invigorate market demand in the second half of this year, Lin Sheng-chang added.

“Not only well-known brands will equip their smartphones with 18:9 displays, but China’s top smartphone brands are also planning to adopt 18:9 displays for their new models,” Lin said.

CPT said it has sent samples to clients and expects to ship the first batch of 18:9 displays late next quarter or in the fourth quarter.

Market researcher TrendFoce Corp (集邦科技) forecast that 10 percent of all smartphones shipped this year, primarily from Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, will be equipped with 18:9 displays.

The number is to jump to 37 percent next year, the researcher forecast.

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