Asustek’s Q1 income rises on back of tablet demand

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 13

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the world’s fifth-largest PC brand, yesterday said its first-quarter net income expanded 21 percent year-on-year due to strong demand for tablets, despite notebook shipments decreasing 3 percent from a year ago.

In the January-to-March quarter, Asustek’s net income reached NT$6.05 billion (US$205.27 million), from NT$5.01 billion during the same period last year, with earnings per share of NT$8.04, the company told an investors’ conference yesterday.

First-quarter net profit rose 3 percent quarter-on-quarter, which Asustek attributed to an increase in tablet shipments, while sales fell 10 percent to NT$105.16 billion from NT$116.6 billion in the previous quarter.

“We were very glad to see Asustek ranked as the world’s third-largest tablet brand last quarter, but we noticed that there was a big gap between us and the world’s second-largest tablet brand, Samsung Electronics Co,” chief executive officer Jerry Shen (沈振來) said. “We will work hard to strengthen our competitiveness and shorten the gap.”

Last week, market tracking firm International Data Corp (IDC) reported that Asustek became the world’s third-largest tablet maker last quarter, with a market share of 5.5 percent, on the back of robust demand for smaller tablets.

IDC data showed that Apple Inc still led the market with a 39.6 percent share in the first quarter, trailed by Samsung with a 17.9 percent market share.

Asustek said shipments of its tablet computers grew 214 percent year-on-year last quarter due to the strong sales of the 7-inch Nexus 7 table that it co-developed with Google Inc.

To sustain this sales momentum, the company will continue designing new tablet products in its Transformer Pad series as well as its FonePad series, Shen said.

The company expects sales to increase this quarter from last quarter, following the launch of its new all-in-one computers, notebooks, tablets and smartphones during the annual Computex Trade Fair in Taipei next month.

Shipments of notebooks, tablets and motherboards are expected to remain flat this quarter at about 4.8 million units, 2.8 million units and 5 million units respectively, it said.

Total revenue is likely to achieve double-digit growth this year from the NT$413.15 billion seen last year, driven by strong tablet sales, Asustek said.