Epistar reports sales increase

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS::The results beat earlier estimates, which forecast Epistar’s sales would decline because demand for LED backlight displays had been slowing

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Sep 07, 2013 - Page 14

Epistar Corp (晶電), the nation’s top LED chipmaker, yesterday reported that its sales last month rose NT$1.97 billion (US$66.11 million), despite of weakening market demand for LED backlight displays.

Sales increased 2.87 percent from NT$1.91 billion in July and 0.39 percent from NT$1.96 billion during the same period of last year, with cumulative sales for the first eight months growing 4.41 percent to NT$14.28 billion from a year ago.

The results beat SinoPac Securities Co’s (永豐金證券) estimate, which forecast Epistar’s sales last month would decline month-on-month because market demand for LED backlight displays had been slowing. The brokerage also predicted Epistar’s third-quarter sales to decline 8 percent quarter-on-quarter.

However, given that Epistar has expanded its customer portfolio in China and that the US-based LED material and device manufacturer Cree Inc, also a client of Epistar, has launched new products, Epistar may see its shipments increase in the long term, SinoPac Securities said in a report.

Unlike Epistar, LED chipmaker Unity Opto Technology Co (東貝光電) reported its sales last month slid 9.98 percent month-on-month and decreased 33.91 percent year-on-year to NT$552.74 million.

Cumulative sales during the January-to-August period grew 9.19 percent to NT$4.89 billion from NT$4.47 billion during the same period last year, the company said on Thursday.

Unity Opto attributed the declines to inventory adjustments by its Chinese clients and also a larger-than-expected drop in LED backlight product shipments due to Chinese government’s termination of its subsidy program.

In view of year-end holiday demand, sales for next quarter are forecast to achieve sequential growth, driven by increasing shipment of LED lighting products used in touch-enabled notebook and tablet computers, the company added.

Meanwhile, Lextar Electronics Corp (隆達電子), the LED manufacturing arm of AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), said sales were NT$1.23 billion last month, down 6.3 percent month-on-month, but up 28.2 percent year-on-year.

Cumulative sales during the first eight months expanded 38.55 percent to NT$9.27 billion from NT$6.69 billion a year ago.

Lextar said in a filing on Thursday that robust replacement demand for tablets replacing laptops was one of the causes of its month-on-month sales decline.