Taipei, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), one of Taiwan’s leading flat panel makers, incurred a net loss in the first quarter of this year due to a fall in production and demand caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In an investor conference held Thursday, AUO said it posted NT$4.99 billion (US$166 million) in net losses for the January-March period, or NT$0.53 per share, but the losses were narrowed down from the fourth quarter of last year, when the flat panel maker reported NT$8.83 billion in net loss, or NT$0.92 per share.
AUO said it has made great efforts to improve its product mix and cut operating costs to shore up its bottom line in order to cope with the economic impact of the disease.
In addition to the effects of the virus spread, AUO said, the first quarter remained in a traditional slow season, so its consolidated sales fell 13.4 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$53.69 billion.
In the three-month period, AUO shipped 22.42 million large-sized panels, down 15.5 percent from a quarter earlier, while its shipments of small- and medium-sized screens also fell 21.2 percent to 29.52 million units, providing further evidence of the slow-season effect.
AUO Chairman Paul Peng (彭双浪) said in the investor conference that while the virus spread affected production due to lockdowns, remote work and online learning offset the impact, as demand for notebook computers increased.
AUO President Frank Ko (柯富仁) told institutional investors that as major South Korean rivals are withdrawing from the global liquid crystal display market, a balance of supply and demand are expected to gradually improve in the future.
Looking ahead, the flat panel supplier said the virus spread is expected to continue to create uncertainty in the global economy, so it is determined to cut operating costs and speed up its efforts to unveil value-added products to strengthen its global competitive edge.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel