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AU Optronics says sees room to increase some panel prices

Post Time:Feb 27,2012Classify:Company NewsView:328


Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp, the world's No.4 LCD maker, sees room to increase prices in some panel segments, such as the newer generation of large-sized panels, due to a supply shortage.


LCD makers have posted quarters of losses as they combat falling prices, weak demand and high investment costs. AU reported a worse-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter earlier this month, but forecast a pick up this year and stable panel prices.


"Every segment has different demand and supply," President Paul Peng told reporters after a company event on Thursday. "We are raising prices for our 7.5 generation 40- and 42-inch TV monitors."


He said general panel prices remain stable, even though some Chinese rivals have embarked on price competition on 32-inch panels.


Peng said AU's financial condition is a lot healthier than its peers, citing over T$90 billion ($3 billion) cash in hand now for debt repayment and capital investment this year.


He said loans borrowed in Taiwan totalled T$45-48 billion, while loans in China are very small. He also said the company has plans for a syndicated loan this year for refinancing.


The comments came in the wake of rival Chimei Innolux's agreement with banks to postpone to the third quarter the repayment of T$5.6 billion ($189.2 million) in principal that matured on Jan. 9.


Commenting on market leader Samsung Electronics Co's recent decision to spin off its loss-making LCD business, Peng said it will provide a more level playing field.


"Its cost structure will have to be more transparent because it'll no longer be able to hide within the group; and the group will not be its definite client any more."


He also said some capacity will be lost in the transition to OLED from TFT after the spin off.


South Korea's Samsung, the world's biggest maker of televisions, is shifting its focus towards new generation OLED display technology. ($1 = 29.5595 Taiwan dollars)


Source: http://uk.reuters.comAuthor: shangyi

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