Contract notebook computer maker Wistron Corp (緯創) expects to regain growth momentum this year, thanks to rising demand for car electronics and smart devices, company chairman Simon Lin (林憲明) said yesterday.
Lin said the company had been through a difficult year last year due to weak demand for laptops with touch features and excessive capacity in the PC industry.
The firm’s revenues dropped 5.15 percent to NT$591.98 billion (US$18.74 billion) last year, from NT$624.16 billion in 2013.
Notebook shipments contracted 12.86 percent to 21 million units last year from 24.1 million the previous year.
“It was a very challenging year for us, but we are recovering slowly,” Lin told reporters at the firm’s year-end party, citing a 26.36 percent annual growth in sales in the last month.
Lin said he expects sales this month and next month could report year-on-year growth as well.
He said he is optimistic about Wistron’s outlook this year due to improving management and industrial automation.
He added that the firm would continue to invest in automation and in research and development.
The firm’s sales would be driven by smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and in-car entertainment electronics, Lin said.
He said he expects notebook shipments and sales to be flat this year.
Wistron shipped 1.7 million notebooks last month, down 15 percent from a month earlier, and said it expects the shipments of notebook to report a 15 percent decline this quarter from last quarter due to the slow season.
At its last investors’ conference, the company said it foresees the total shipments of its product lines could jump 67 percent annually to 25 million units, driven by smart devices.
Yuanta Securities Investment and Consulting Co (元大投顧) said Wistron is benefiting from the automobile network and smart grid themes, with both sectors set to make significant revenue contributions this year.
Yuanta analyst D.C. Wang said in a note released on Jan. 21 that he expects Wistron’s revenue to grow 4 percent this year from last year.
This quarter, however, the company’s sales and earnings would decline by 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively, due to seasonal factors, Wang said.
However, he expects Wistron to report record high revenues for the third quarter of this year.
Wistron shares closed at NT$28.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, remaining the same from the previous day, while the TAIEX gained 0.73 percent.
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