Inventec shifts focus away from notebooks business

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 26, 2014 - Page 13

Inventec Corp (英業達), which assembles notebooks for Hewlett-Packard Co (HP) and Dell Inc, yesterday said it had shifted its focus to non-notebook business in a bid to achieve higher growth in net profits this year from last year.

Under the new plan, sales from Inventec’s notebook assembling business would account for less than 50 percent of its total sales this year, down from an estimated share of between 50 and 55 percent last year, chief financial officer Yu Chin-pao (游進寶) told an investors’ conference.

In contrast, sales from Inventec’s server manufacturing business would grow and account for more than 25 percent of the company’s total sales this year, followed by a 10 percent share from its handset business and a share of between 2 percent and 3 percent from its solar business, he added.

“There’s a limit for any possible growth of the company’s sales this year [from last year’s NT$461 billion (US$15.1 billion)], but we will work hard to improve our gross margin and net profit results,” Yu said.

Inventec’s net profit grew 25 percent quarter-on-quarter and 336 percent year-on-year to NT$1.71 billion last quarter, bringing the company’s annual net profit to a record high of NT$7.13 billion, according to the company’s latest financial report.

Yu said Inventec aims to grow its notebook shipments this year from last year’s 18.75 million units, with a focus on orders for higher-margin commercial models.

The company also plans to increase its white-box server shipments this year, while continuing to manufacture servers for brandname customers including IBM Corp, HP, Dell and Lenovo Group (聯想), he added.

“Though there might be conflicts of interest with clients, Inventec will seek more business opportunities in manufacturing white-box servers used in data centers this year because that is an important market trend,” Yu said.

David Ho (何代水), chief executive officer of Inventec’s handset subsidiary Inventec Appliance Corp (英華達), yesterday said Inventec Appliance plans to grow its handset shipments to a range between 35 million and 40 million units, from last year’s 30 million units.

Inventec Appliance is a major supplier of Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi Corp (小米), Ho said.

The company supplied a total of 15 handset vendors last year, but aims to expand its client base this year, as part of the company’s plan to increase sales from non-notebook business and to lower investment risks, Ho said.

Inventec Appliance will start mass producing wearable devices for new clients as soon as the second half of the year, he said.

However, he declined to confirm analysts’ suspicions that Inventec Appliance plans to assemble Apple Inc’s rumored smartwatch product, the “iWatch.”