E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season.
Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39.
E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed.
E Ink said that it expects royalty income to continue to fall this quarter due to increasing adoption of rivals’ OLED technology.
Gross margin jumped to 46.2 percent from 42.4 percent in the prior year, as it shipped more e-paper display films, which delivered a higher margin than fully assembled e-paper display modules with panels attached.
The Hsinchu-based company expects growth momentum to continue this quarter, with strong demand for electronic shelf labels and color e-paper displays mainly for e-readers.
“The second quarter looks like a stronger quarter than the same period last year. Outlook for the second quarter is relatively positive,” E Ink chairman Johnson Lee (李政昊) told an investors’ teleconference on Thursday.
E Ink’s revenue this quarter might surpass the NT$3.56 billion in the second quarter last year, which would mean revenue grew more than 22 percent from last quarter’s NT$2.92 billion, the company said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating adoption of electronic shelf labels, which allow retailers to update product price displays automatically from a central controller, it said.
However, some installations are to be delayed due to lockdowns in many countries to curb the spread of the virus, the company said.
Robust demand for color printing e-paper displays due to their affordability has far surpassed its expectations, E Ink said.
Due to limited capacity, order backlogs would not be digested until August or September, Lee said.
E Ink is racing to expand capacity for the color e-paper displays to satisfy demand, he said.
China’s iFLYTEK Corp (科大訊飛) plans to roll out new e-readers equipped with E Ink’s color displays this quarter, E Ink said.
European e-reader maker PocketBook also plans to launch color e-readers that adopt E Ink’s technology, it said.
Meanwhile, Hisense Electric Co (海信) is adopting E Ink color displays for its new smartphone.
The Chinese firm said it plans to allocate 15 percent more capital spending this year than last year.
Over the past few years, E Ink has spent NT$700 million to NT$800 million a year on new equipment and facilities.
DIGITAL RIGHTS: Although Ottawa did not identify any particular country as a risk in the video-game sphere, it has repeatedly accused China and Russia of interference Canada is to enhance its scrutiny of foreign investments in video games and other interactive media, seeking to block outside actors from manipulating public opinion in the country. “Hostile state-sponsored or state-influenced actors may try to leverage foreign investments in the interactive digital media sector to spread disinformation and manipulate information,” Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Friday in a joint announcement with Canadian Minister of Heritage Pascale St-Onge. Starting immediately, Ottawa is to increase scrutiny of investments “by entities owned or influenced by foreign states, particularly states that engage in activities that may pose a risk
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICERS: Y.J. Mii, who is in charge of R&D, and Y.P. Chyn, who is responsible for fab operations and management, start their new positions today Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday promoted Y.J. Mii (米玉傑) and Y.P. Chyn (秦永沛) as co-chief operating officers (COO) of the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, signaling the formation of a succession team. The latest executive reshuffle comes after TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) in December last year announced that he is to retire this year. CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) has been recommended as his successor while continuing to serve in his current position. Mii and Chyn, as well as the company’s human resources, finance, legal and corporate planning units, are to report directly to Wei, a company statement released after the
SEMICONDUCTORS: Under India’s chipmaking incentive plan, the government would bear half the cost of any approved project, with an initial budget of US$10 billion for the task The Indian government, after years of watching from the sidelines of the chips race, now has to evaluate US$21 billion of semiconductor proposals and divvy up taxpayer support between foreign chipmakers, local champions or some combination of the two. Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Ltd is proposing a US$9 billion plant, while India’s Tata Group has put forward an US$8 billion chip fabrication unit, people familiar with the matter said. Both projects would be in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, the people said. Semiconductors have grown into a key geopolitical battleground, with the US, Japan and China investing heavily in
AI PRIORITIZED: Analysts said the move was a good strategic decision for Apple, which was still years away from producing a vehicle and facing a cooling market Apple Inc is canceling a decade-long effort to build an electric vehicle (EV), people with knowledge of the matter said, abandoning one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the firm. Apple made the disclosure internally on Tuesday, surprising about 2,000 employees working on the project, the sources said. The decision was shared by Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort, the sources said. The two executives told staff that the project would begin winding down and that many employees on the EV team — known as the Special Projects Group