Innolux Q1 net profit up over 9% sequentially

Taipei--Innolux Corp. (??), one of Taiwan's leading flat panel makers, witnessed its net profit for the first quarter of this year rising more than 9 percent from a quarter earlier on the back of a recovery in product prices.

Innolux posted NT$11.86 billion (US$393 million) in net profit in the January-March period, up 9.1 percent from the previous three-month period. The first-quarter net profit was the highest since 2010 and an improvement from NT$8.58 billion in net losses seen over the same period of last year.

Due to a tight supply in the global market, the average selling price of Innolux screens stood at US$399 per square meter, up from US$379 in the previous quarter and also up from US$298 seen a year earlier, the company said.

Innolux's earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter rose to NT$1.19 from NT$1.09 seen a quarter earlier.

Boosted by higher product prices, Innolux also enjoyed an improvement in its profit margin in the first quarter, to hit a record high since 2010, the company said.

In the three-month period, the flat panel maker's gross margin, -- the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold -- rose to 23.6 percent from the fourth quarter's 22.2 percent, and its operating margin -- the difference between sales and both the cost of goods sold as well as operating expenses -- also increased to 17.0 percent from 15.7 percent.

Innolux's latest earnings echoed the improved bottom line of rival AU Optronics Corp. (??), which posted NT$9.48 billion in net profit for the first quarter, up 9.8 percent from a quarter earlier, with EPS at NT$0.98 compared with NT$0.93 in the previous quarter.

In the January-March period, TV panels remained the major revenue source for Innolux, accounting for 53 percent of NT$86 billion in total sales, up from 52 percent from a quarter earlier.

In the quarter, Innolux ranked as the second-largest TV panel supplier in the world, trailing only LG Display Co. of South Korea, according to a recent report by market advisory firm TrendForce Corp.

Screens for mobile devices made up 22 percent of Innolux's total sales in the first quarter, up from 21 percent seen in the fourth quarter, displays for portable computer use represented 15 percent, down from 16 percent, and screens for desktop computers made up 10 percent, down from 11 percent, Innolux said.

Looking ahead, Innolux said that demand from North America and emerging markets is expected to remain solid in the second quarter, while demand from China could slow down.

For the whole of 2017, Innolux remained upbeat about the global flat panel market, saying that its sales will grow from a year earlier.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel