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Chimei sales surged on demand for handhelds

Post Time:Sep 13,2011Classify:Company NewsView:294


Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), the nation’s biggest LCD panel maker, yesterday said revenues increased 2 percent last month from a month earlier, as shipments of LCD panels used in tablets and other handheld devices recouped growth.


Sales expanded for the fifth consecutive month to NT$42.02 billion (US$1.44 billion) last month from July’s NT$41.22 billion, joining rival AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) in regaining strength despite sluggish demand for panels for LCD TVs and PCs.


On Thursday, AU Optronics reported NT$33.27 billion in sales for last month, up 1.6 percent from July.

Chimei’s shipments of PC and TV panels contracted 3.4 percent to 12.49 million units last month from 12.93 million in July, matching the company’s forecast of a low-single-digit percentage decline in TV panel shipments this quarter from the second quarter, according to the company’s statement.


However, shipments of mobile device panels spiked 24.23 percent to 39.84 million units last month, from 32.07 million units in July, when shipments dropped 8.3 percent. The growth was also in line with Chimei’s forecast of double-digit percentage growth for this segment from last quarter.


On an annual basis, Chimei’s revenues fell 7.73 percent from NT$45.54 billion in the same period last year.


Despite the sales growth last month, the road ahead for LCD panel makers appear bumpy as end demand continues to be threatened by an unstable global economy.


To cope with a dim outlook and falling prices, LCD panel makers are expected to cut their equipment loading rates to about 75 percent this quarter — usually the seasonal peak — lower than an earlier estimated range of between 85 percent and 90 percent by those manufacturers, DisplaySearch analyst Shawn Lee (李昕霖) said in a report on Thursday.


In July, AU Optronics said factory utilization would drop to 80 percent this quarter from 83 percent last quarter, while Chimei said equipment loading would be little changed this quarter from 80 percent in the prior quarter.


Lee said LCD panel makers had become conservative about the TV market outlook, which would affect their production plans.


In the past, panel makers used to plan more TV glass input in order to cope with sudden increases in TV panel demand, but this year was different because “our latest check indicates that the planned TV glass panel by area is very close to planned TV panel shipments,” Lee said.


Falling prices and weak demand for PC and TV panels have caused global panel makers to reduce glass input by 14 percent to 12.2 million square meters this quarter from 14.2 million square meters last quarter, DisplaySearch said.


In other news, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) yesterday said the ministry was aware of the concerns of local flat-panel makers and would try to help them get zero tariff treatment in China.


Shih’s remarks came after Chimei chairman Frank Liao (廖錦祥) expressed concern on Thursday that China was mulling an increase to its import tax for flat panels of between 8 and 10 percent, from between 3 percent and 5 percent now, saying that would affect the competitiveness of Taiwanese firms.


“I can understand their concerns,” the minister said, without elaborating.



Source: http://www.taipeitimes.comAuthor: shangyi

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