Hiwin Technologies Corp (上銀), which makes ballscrews and linear guideways, plans to invest NT$1.2 billion to NT$1.5 billion (US$41 million to US$51 million) for building a logistics, manufacturing, and research and development center in Suzhou, China.
The company expects it can receive the construction permit by the end of the second quarter next year and start building the plant in 2015, company chairman and chief executive officer Eric Chuo (卓永財) said at an investors’ conference yesterday.
The plant will be located in the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park. The company will first build a logistics center on a 36,363.64m2 block of land to provide just-in-time delivery solutions for its Chinese clients and subsequently expand the factory to include a manufacturing center, Chuo said.
Hiwin said building a research and development center will be the last part of the project.
“The logistics center can help reduce our clients’ inventory levels, and because Hiwin will be responsible for the later part of the manufacturing process in the future, the quality of the products will be enhanced,” Chou said.
In Taiwan, the company has also acquired 19,834.71m2 of land next to the factory of subsidiary Hiwin Mikrosystem Corp (大銀微) in the Taichung City Precision Machinery Innovation Technology Park, where it plans to build a robot manufacturing plant.
The company last year adjusted upward its investment in Greater Taichung to NT$7.2 billion from the NT$6 billion it previously set.
Hiwin also intends to fully acquire a company in Switzerland by the first quarter next year and to purchase a 50 percent stake in one of its agents in Brazil in the first half of next year, Chuo said.
The company in Switzerland manufactures machines of smaller sizes and it has knowledge of communication systems, while Brazil is an important market and demand in the country will rise as it prepares for the Olympic Games in 2016, he said.
From January through last month, the company posted revenue of NT$9.87 billion, down 5.23 percent from NT$10.42 billion a year ago, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
During the first nine months of this year, the company reported profit of NT$1.27 billion, or NT$5.01 in earnings per share, down from NT$1.68 billion, or NT$6.59 per share, a year ago, the filing said.
Chuo expects Hiwin’s revenue this quarter will be higher than the NT$3.38 billion of a quarter ago as the company enters its peak season, while its revenue next quarter will be higher than the NT$2.37 billion in the first quarter this year as the company enters more markets and has a more comprehensive product mix.
The company currently produces five six-axis robots a month and production will rise to 100 units a month in the second quarter next year, improving its gross margin, he said.
Commenting on the prospects of downstream companies, Chou said the semiconductor industry will be better next year than this year, helping Hiwin to grow.
Hiwin will continue benefiting from the demand for automation in China and the rising global auto industry, especially in Germany, he said.
“However, the market sentiment for machine tools in China is murky for this quarter and next quarter, and we hope the sentiment will improve in the second quarter next year,” he said.