Taiwan TFT-LCD panel maker saw revenues, shipments hit record highs in Nov.

Dec 08, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 8, 2003 (CENS)--Three of the top-five thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel makers in Taiwan reported record high monthly revenues for November and the other two are also expected to announce soon scoring new high revenues for the month.

All of the top-five panel makers, including AU Optronics Corp., Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. (CPT), Quanta Display Inc., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO), and HannStar Display Corp., are expected to enjoy a profit margin rate of over 20% and rake in record high monthly earnings in November. The first three companies have announced November operation results, all of which hit record highs.

AU Optronics recently announced its combined revenue of NT$11.37 billion (US$333.4 million at US$1: NT$34.1) for November, up 2.3% from October. Last month, the firm maintained a shipment volume of about 1.2 million panels, mainly for LCD monitor, notebook PC and LCD TV applications, but had higher revenue than October due to the panel price hike.

According to AU Optronics, its monthly revenue has hit a new high for seven consecutive months since May this year. The company shipped a total of 10.6 million large-sized panels in the first 11 months, achieving 90.6% of its annual volume goal; and delivered 19.7 million small- and medium-sized panels during the same period, achieving 88.4%.

AU Optronics netted combined revenue of NT$92.96 billion (US$2.73 billion) in the first 11 months, achieving 90.4% of the company's newly revised annual financial forecast. The company claimed that both its shipment volume and revenue this month are expected to grow further and its annual revenue is expected to outstrip the targeted goal.

CPT registered combined revenue of NT$6.41 billion (US$187.83 million) last month, up 2.24% from October, with shipment volume of 833,000 panels. Both the revenue and volume hit record highs due to strong market demand and panel price hikes.

CPT said that its panel profit margin reached 25% last month, up 3% from 22% in October, and the company expects to have earnings of over NT$1 billion (US$29.33 million) from last month's panel business.

CPT said that its cathode-ray tube (CRT) business generated combined revenue of NT$3.17 billion (US$92.96 million) from both domestic and overseas operations last month, down slightly from October due to most of the big-batch products for the Christmas orders already delivered by early last month.

Quanta's revenue and panel shipment volume both hit record highs in November. With the smooth operation of its new fifth-generation panel plant, the company registered revenue of NT$4 billion (US$117.3 million) last month, up 17% from October's NT$3.4 billion (US$99.7 million); and shipped about 520,000 large-sized panels, up 10% from the previous month.

CMO is scheduled to announce November operation results soon and the company's revenue for November is expected to outstrip NT$9 billion (US$263.93 million) easily to hit a new high due to the increased shipment volume from its new fifth-generation plant and the rising panel prices.

With the added capacity, CMO's LCD TV panel shipment volume grew sharply last month to 70,000 to 80,000 panels sizing 20, 27 and 30 inches and such product category has become the major profit earner for CMO. CMO had combined revenue (including that generated from its Japanese panel subsidiary International Display Technology Inc.--IDT) of NT$8.84 billion (US$259.3 million) in October, a new high.

HannStar recorded a maximum production capacity of 410,000 panels last month and the company is eagerly awaiting the additional capacity from its new fifth-generation panel plant, which is scheduled to begin mass production in February next year.

With a smooth shipment of the company's major product, 15-inch panels for notebook PCs, HannStar said its profit margin rose to over 20% last month and its revenue is expected to hit record high again with the small-batch shipment of 23-inch LCD TV panels.
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