Gateway places PDP TV order with Sampo

Dec 05, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 5, 2003 (CENS)--Sampo Co., a leading home appliance maker in Taiwan, recently won a big annual order for 100,000 plasma display panel (PDP) TV sets from Gateway Inc. of the United States.

Sampo claimed that its cooperation with Gateway would be expanded to include sales of digital home products in the U.S. market.

Gateway chairman and CEO Ted Waitt recently visited Sampo's headquarters in Taoyuan County, northern Taiwan, and finalized the annual PDP TV order with Sampo chairman Felix Chen. According to Sampo, its PDP TV set shipment volume to Gateway would be elevated to 100,000 units next year from about 50,000 units this year, including several new models such as 42- and 50-inch sets.

Waitt said that Gateway is actively diversifying its product lines into consumer electronic products and concentrating more on marketing rather than manufacturing to upgrade the company's operation.

According to Waitt, Gateway has debuted several new non-personal computer products including digital music players, digital versatile disc (DVD)+rewritable (RW) players, digital TV sets and digital cameras.

Sampo has also been actively diversifying its home appliance product lines. The Taiwan company demonstrated DVD+RW player models in the second half this year and expects to ship 400,000 to 500,000 units next year. Sampo said that its DVD+RW player is expected to become another contract item supplied to Gateway in the future.

With an annual shipment volume of about 100,000 PDP TV sets this year, Sampo claimed that it has become one of the world's top-three contract makers of such products and will deliver about 200,000 PDP TV sets next year.

In order to further accelerate the company's development of PDP TV set sales in the international market, Sampo invested NT$1 billion (US$29.41 million at US$1: NT$34) to set up a plant complex in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, mainland China. Sampo's Kunshan plant is expected to have an annual capacity of about 100,000 PDP TV sets next year, making the facility one of the company's production bases of PDP TV sets for exports to Europe and the U.S. and sales in mainland China.

Sampo expects to score annual revenue of NT$20 billion to NT$22 billion (US$588.24 million to US$647.06 million) and pretax earnings of NT$1.1 billion (US$32.35 million) in 2003. Next year, Sampo claimed, its revenue is expected to grow by over NT$8 billion (US$235.29 million).
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