E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole e-paper display supplier, yesterday said that revenue would grow by a single-digit percentage sequentially this quarter, thanks to retailers’ demand for electronic shelf labels (ESL), but concerns over a recession would affect consumer demand for e-readers and e-notes.
Next quarter would see a seasonal slowdown, with revenue contracting on a quarterly basis, but expanding annually, E Ink chairman Johnson Lee (李政昊) told investors at an online conference yesterday.
“We are conservative about overall market demand next year, but we believe there is still a chance to grow,” Lee said. “ESL would be the segment that outshines others.”
Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times
E Ink is optimistic about US retailers’ uptake of ESLs next year, which should benefit the company and its partners in the e-paper display ecosystem, Lee said.
The US’ ESL market is 10 times larger than that of the European market, Lee added.
“Retailers are facing challenges amid a high-inflation era as they have to adjust prices within a very short period. At this point, it is not easy to find entry-level workers when the economy reopens,” Lee said. “We have received ESL orders, but the uncertainty is whether they would install ESLs ahead of schedule, or delay it.”
The company said it would keep a watchful eye on changes in the e-reader and e-note market, as demand could sag if there is a recession next year, Lee said.
On the other hand, demand could swing up following the introduction of e-readers and e-notes with color displays, he said.
E Ink said it is sticking to its projected capital expenditure of between NT$5 billion and NT$6 billion (US$160.5 million and US$192.6 million) for this year and likely next year.
Most capacity expansion plans at home, in the US and China are progressing according to the company’s schedule, Lee said.
The company more than doubled its net profit last quarter to NT$8.08 billion, from NT$4.24 billion in the third quarter last year.
E Ink plans to ramp up the production of its H4 production line in Hsinchu in the first quarter of next year.
It expects to install new equipment at the H5 production line in another Hsinchu fab next year or in 2024.
The H6 line, also in Hsinchu, is expected to commence production in 2025, it said.
E Ink said it tends to delay the construction of a new production line in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) due to a labor shortage and high material costs.
The company’s third-quarter net profit skyrocketed to NT$4.24 billion from NT$1.23 billion a year earlier.
On a quarterly basis, net profit more than doubled from NT$2.37 billion.
Earnings per share (EPS) jumped to NT$3.72 from NT$1.08 a year earlier and NT$2.08 the previous quarter.
Third-quarter revenue soared to NT$8.1 billion from NT$4.4 billion a year earlier and NT$7.45 billion the prior quarter.
In the first three quarters, net profit surged to NT$8.08 billion from NT$3.79 billion the previous year, with EPS climbing to NT$7.08 from NT$3.33.
More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s (富士康) huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory dealt a fresh blow to the Taiwanese company, which has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled worker discontent and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday. Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
’INHERENT VULNERABILITIES’: The country has been working with the US to build its own lithium and rare earth mines in a bid to curb China’s dominance in the market Australia is vowing more assertive scrutiny of foreign investments in key commodities tied to electric vehicles and clean energy, in a potential warning to China which dominates the market. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has asked the country’s Treasury to work with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other stakeholders to undertake a review of foreign investment in sectors such as lithium and rare earths, he told a conference in Sydney yesterday. “We’ll need to be more assertive about encouraging investment that clearly aligns with our national interest in the longer term,” Chalmers said. Although Chalmers did not directly identify China investment as
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The