Touchpanel maker Young Fast Optoelectronics Co (洋華光電) said losses last year narrowed significantly to NT$6 million (US$205,846) as its product makeover started to bear fruit.
The Taoyuan-based company has made good progress in improving its financials since it implemented a restructuring program three years ago, after the industry, following in Apple Inc’s footsteps, moved away from using film touch sensors to glass touch sensors.
Last year’s losses represented an improvement from a net loss of NT$163 million in 2016 and marked the lowest level in the past seven years, as gross margin climbed to 16.3 percent from 7.76 percent the previous year, Young Fast’s data showed.
As the restructuring efforts are working, the company is striving to swing into profit this year, Young Fast president Eric Hsu (許益川) said during a teleconference on Monday.
“To return to the black, we have to grow the size of the company’s revenue,” Hsu said.
“We expect to see a continuing increase in revenue from the industrial devices and home appliances segments. We will add new clients and new orders this year,” he said.
Young Fast could break even if it boosts its touch-panel revenue to NT$700 million a year, Hsu told investors.
The company also produces mechanical devices, but the scale is very minimal in terms of contribution to its overall revenue, he added.
Consolidated revenue plunged 38.6 percent year-on-year to NT$894 million last year, compared with NT$1.46 billion in 2016, as the company continued to scale down its unprofitable touch panels for smartphones and tablets business, Young Fast said.
However, the company said it has been making an effort to boost its exposure in some niche markets — primarily touch panels for industrial devices and home appliances.
Last year, revenue contribution from touch panels for industrial devices and home appliances climbed to between 35 and 40 percent, compared with between 15 and 20 percent the previous year, the company said.
The ratio should go up to about 55 percent this year, Hsu said.
Touch panels for handsets and tablets are expected to make a revenue contribution of between 25 and 30 percent this year, little changed from last year, he added.
To cope with rising client demand, Young Fast said it plans to spend NT$10 million to expand capacity this year.
The company’s shares on Tuesday closed at NT$17.75 in Taipei trading, down 1.66 percent from Monday and 12.99 percent so far this year, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
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