Formosa Optical forecasts expansion to boost growth

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Nov 12, 2013 - Page 13

Formosa Optical Technology Co (寶島光學科技), which manufactures and sells glasses, yesterday said revenue this quarter would grow between 1 percent and 3 percent from NT$76.47 million (US$2.59 million) a year ago as the number of its shops increases in Taiwan.

The number of Formosa Optical’s shops will rise to 390 at the end of this year from 386 last month, the company said.

Formosa Optical accounted for 10 percent of total shops for glasses last month, trailed by 228 shops of Kobayashi Optical Co (小林眼鏡) and 107 shops of Howard Eyewear (仁愛眼鏡), the company said.

From January through August, market share of Formosa Optical rose to 22.41 percent from 22.04 percent for the whole of last year, the company said.

This quarter, the company’s gross margin would likely remain at 60 percent as the previous three quarters, while its operating expense ratio is expected to be 53 percent to 55 percent, which is the level during its low season, company vice general manager Chang Li-hui (張立徽) told reporters on the sideline of an investors’ conference yesterday.

Despite lower consumer confidence this year, the company still expects to post higher revenue this year than NT$2.16 billion last year, Chang said.

The company set a goal to increase its market share to 30 percent of the local market and the total number of its shops to 600 shops, with 400 shops selling glasses of its Formosa brand and 200 shops of its other brands, Chang said.

Chang did not offer a timetable for the expansion, saying that the company will acquire shops of other companies as soon as possible if the rent is reasonable.

The company also plans to enter the markets in Southeast Asia and China, and it is now in talks with the second and third largest companies in Southeast Asia, Chang said.

“Our company is most interested in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand,” he said.

Formosa Optical has 18.87 percent of shares of contact lens supplier Ginko International Co (金可國際), with the total market value of around NT$9 billion, and it will distribute the shares when the prices are high, Chang said, adding that the company spent US$2.1 million to buy these shares in 2009.

In the first nine months this year, the company’s profit was NT$255.88 million, or NT$4.26 per share, up 8.02 percent from NT$236.88, or NT$3.94 per share, the previous year.