Tue, Oct 09, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Chunghwa Picture Tubes cuts hours for foreigners

LOCALS UNAFFECTED:A public relations official said that the measure was only for the fourth quarter amid a decline in demand and it did not plan to lay anyone off

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

LCD panelmaker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (CPT, 中華映管) yesterday said it has cut hours for foreign workers in its latest effort to cope with an unexpected decline in demand for smartphone displays in the second half of the year.

The company has trimmed hours for foreign employees from 12 to eight per day and said overtime is no longer needed.

The measure took effect yesterday, CPT said.

“Demand fell short of our expectation during this year’s peak season,” a CPT public relations official said by telephone.

The adjustment affected 550 foreign workers, or about 12 percent of CPT’s total workforce of 4,600, the official said.

“This is a temporary measure, only in place for the fourth quarter. We do not plan to lay off” any foreign workers, the official said. “Local employees will not be affected by the measure.”

Sluggish demand affected CPT’s revenue last month, which plunged 41 percent to NT$1.92 billion (US$62.08 million) from NT$3.29 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

In the third quarter, revenue was NT$6.41 billion, nosediving 31.08 percent from NT$9.3 billion in the same period last year.

CPT president Lin Sheng-chang (林盛昌) in August said that demand was in the doldrums in the third quarter as clients digested component inventories for older models before new products hit the market in the fourth quarter.

Most smartphone companies have changed display designs this year, adopting either water-drop or notch displays after Apple Inc used them for its iPhone X last year, Lin said.

The shift from rectangular displays to the new types contributed to soft demand this year along with lukewarm growth in smartphone sales, he said.

Meanwhile, HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶), another local mobile phone display supplier, yesterday saw revenue sink 45.89 percent year-on-year from NT$2.13 billion to NT$1.15 billion last month.

HannStar’s third-quarter revenue tumbled 55 percent annually from NT$6.66 billion to NT$3.1 billion and fell 39.57 percent quarterly from NT$5.13 billion.

AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), which counts TV panels as its major revenue source, reported that monthly revenue fell 5.6 percent, its smallest annual decline in revenue in about 10 months as sales for last month fell to NT$27.44 billion from NT$29.07 billion a year earlier.

In the quarter ended on Sept. 30, revenue dropped 7.27 percent from NT$87.4 billion in the same period last year to NT$81.05 billion, AUO said.

However, last quarter’s figure represented a quarterly growth of 7.99 percent, indicating that panel prices have rebounded amid improving demand.

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