Fri, Oct 12, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Largan expects revenue to fall as iPhone sales drop

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co (大立光) yesterday gave a reserved outlook because the iPhone launch cycle has peaked.

“October revenue is expected to fall from September levels and continue to decline further next month,” Largan chief executive officer Adam Lin (林恩平) said during an investors’ teleconference.

Many of the company’s customers have cut orders, and the trend would likely accelerate during next month, while demand in December remains uncertain, Lin said.

While South Korean smartphone makers have begun shipments, demand for smartphone camera lenses would ultimately depend on the markets’ reception of new models, he added.

Faced with trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, the company, which produces most of its lenses in China, would stay the course and complete all orders at reasonable prices, Lin said.

Largan’s newly completed Taiwan plant would be able to accommodate planned capacity expansion through next year, he said.

Lin confirmed local media reports that the company is developing “black lenses,” which add a black coating to the front camera lens.

The coating renders the front camera invisible and improves smartphone aesthetics.

“The coating itself does not pose a significant technical hurdle,” Lin said.

However, the company has taken on the challenge of combining a coated front lens with a smaller camera unit to make the front camera virtually invisible and have the same performance as larger sized units, he said.

The company’s telephoto lens would feature on smartphones set to launch before the end of this year, Lin said.

Smartphone makers are also assessing time-of-flight technology as an alternative to 3D sensors for facial recognition, Lin said.

Switching to the technology would bring additional business opportunities for the optoelectronics sector and Largan has begun developing solutions in that area, he said.

Brands would continue to push the envelope in smartphone photography and camera units would only become more complex as edge-to-edge screen designs become more common, Lin added.

Largan reported that third-quarter net income rose 52.17 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$8.37 billion (US$269.09 billion), with revenue rising 33 percent year-on-year to NT$16.33 billion. Earnings per share were NT$62.41.

Gross margin also improved to 71.34 percent, up from 66 percent the previous quarter, helped by larger shipment volumes and higher capacity utilization in the third quarter, company data showed.

Largan shares fell 9.89 percent yesterday to close at NT$3,235 in Taipei trading. The stock has dropped by one-fourth over the past three months.

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