Fri, Jul 27, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Flexium touts prospects as it eyes new technologies

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Flexium Interconnect Inc (台郡), a Kaohsiung-based supplier of flexible printed circuit boards for Apple Inc products, is upbeat about its business outlook as it taps into new technologies and products to improve its product mix.

“We are excited about this year’s production ramp-up for new products in the second half,” Flexium chief financial officer Arthur Hsiung (熊雅士) told an investors’ conference yesterday.

Prospects in the second half of the year are expected to improve compared with a year earlier, he said.

Orders for smartphones, tablets, laptops and accessories are forecast to rise as much as 10 percent this quarter from a year earlier and should peak in September or the final quarter, enabling the company to expand its market share, Hsiung said.

“By design, the new products have a more favorable cost structure and should improve our product mix,” Hsiung said.

In addition, Flexium anticipates a significant change in the design specifications for high-frequency wireless communication modules, as brand clients are no longer satisfied with the current offerings, particularly modules for handheld devices, Hsiung said.

In anticipation of customers’ changing requirements, the company has found success with its revised designs, which use different materials and could begin shipping this quarter, he said.

A bigger topline would help boost the company’s profitability, Hsiung said.

Flexium reported that net income in the April-to-June quarter dropped 60.1 percent annually to NT$146 million (US$4.78 million), while revenue rose 33.7 percent to NT$4.95 billion, with earnings per share of NT$0.47.

During the same period, gross margin fell 11.6 percentage points to 12.7 percent and operating margin decreased 10.4 percentage points to 2.7 percent.

Hsiung attributed the poor showing to a number of product lines that require costly wireless charging modules and hardware buttons.

From January to last month, net income totaled NT$392 million, down 35.8 percent from a year earlier, while revenue in the first six months rose 30.5 percent annually to NT$10.42 billion, company data showed.

As 5G networks and artificial intelligence computing would immensely increase demand for advanced wireless data transmission modules, the company would continue to make investments in capacity and development, Hsiung said.

Flexium’s new high-frequency communication solutions should begin contributing revenue in the second half of next year, he said.

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