Mon, Mar 05, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Chipbond records best profit in three years

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Chipbond Technology Corp (頎邦), which provides testing and packaging services for the driver integrated circuits (ICs) used in flat panels, on Friday posted 13.07 percent annual growth in net profit for last year, the highest in three years.

Net profit last year climbed to NT$2.25 billion (US$76.82 million), compared with NT$1.99 billion in 2016, according to the company’s financial statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Last year’s results met most industry analysts’ expectations.

Earnings per share rose to NT$3.43 last year from NT$3.03 in 2016, the statement showed.

The company’s growth was driven by resilient customer demand and its expansion to new businesses beyond the core LCD driver IC segment, analysts said.

In addition, an increase in demand for new touchpanel ICs — which integrate touch features with display driver ICs — from Chinese smartphone vendors boosted the company’s shipments and factory utilization rates, analysts said.

As a result, Chipbond’s gross margin improved to 24.32 percent last year from 24.16 percent in 2016. Revenue also rose 6.72 percent year-on-year to NT$18.42 billion from NT$17.26 billion, the statement showed.

Chipbond is expected to have a rosy financial outlook this year, thanks to rising orders for the driver ICs used in LCD panels and analog chips, analysts said, adding that a disposal gain totaling NT$1.9 billion is to boost the firm’s bottom line this year as well.

Local Chinese-language media quoted analysts as saying that Chipbond is expected to report earnings per share of NT$6.5 this year, due to robust growth in its core businesses and non-operating gain.

In December last year, the company said that it was to sell shares of Suzhou-based Chipmore Technology Co Ltd (頎中科技) to three Chinese funds, including the Beijing Kinetic Energy Investment Fund (北京芯動能投資基金), for US$112 million.

BOE Technology Group Co (京東方), China’s biggest LCD panel manufacturer, is a major investor in the Beijing Kinetic Energy Investment Fund.

The transaction is to help Chipbond “secure sufficient capital to expand its investments on driver IC and non-driver IC [capacities and technologies],” the company said in a stock exchange filing on Dec. 14.

Chipbond shares on Friday rallied 4.01 percent to NT$70.1, outperforming the TAIEX, which lost 0.81 percent.

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