Thu, Jan 10, 2019 - Page 12 News List

AU Optronics revenue hits six-month low

WORSE THAN EXPECTED:Quarter-on-quarter, shipments of large-sized LCD panels fell 4.5 percent, while shipments of small and mid-sized panels shrank 24.5 percent

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

LCD panel maker AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) yesterday reported that last month’s revenue was the lowest in six months, as the dragging US-China trade row cast a shadow over electronics consumption in the world’s two biggest economies.

Last month’s revenue of NT$24.86 billion (US$807.12 million) represented a 3.5 percent decline from NT$25.57 billion in November, and the poorest since June last year.

During the quarter that ended on Monday last week, revenue totaled NT$77.09 billion, down 4.9 percent from NT$81.04 billion a quarter earlier, the firm said in a statement.

Shipments of large-sized LCD panels, made mostly for televisions, shrank 4.5 percent quarter-on-quarter to 28.45 million units, matching AUO’s estimate of a low single-digit percentage reduction, it said.

Demand for handset panels fell short of company expectations, as AUO saw shipments of its small and mid-sized panels plunge 24.5 percent quarter-on-quarter, compared with its estimate of 15 percent.

AUO chairman Paul Peng (彭雙浪) in October said that the trade spat between the US and China posed uncertainty for the LCD industry.

Currencies in emerging nations have also lost value against the US dollar, further constraining purchasing power in those markets, Peng said.

Market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) last month said that smartphone component suppliers and assemblers would face headwinds in the final quarter of last year, as global smartphone shipments were expected to extend their weak showing from the third quarter.

Worldwide smartphone shipments dipped 4.4 percent annually in the third quarter of last year, IDC data showed.

A longer handset replacement cycle contributed to the sluggish demand, IDC added.

AOU’s main rival, Innolux Corp (群創), also saw a bigger-than-expected slump in small and medium-sized panels shipments.

Shipments dropped 19.1 percent quarter-on-quarter to 60.35 million units last quarter, missing the company’s estimate of a low-single-digit percentage decline.

In October, Innolux said weakness in mobile phone demand in China, as well as displays used in automobiles, would add to the correction in the slow season.

Last quarter, Innolux shipped 33.52 million units of large-sized panels, up 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and beating the 5 percent quarterly contraction estimated by the company in October.

The Miaoli County-based panel maker yesterday reported revenue of NT$23.54 billion for last month, a 1.2 percent monthly decline.

Last quarter, revenue shrank 2.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$72.24 billion from NT$73.91 billion in the third quarter, company data showed.

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