Largan September sales up slightly; October figure could fall

2018/10/06 13:37:09 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Largan September sales up slightly; October figure could fall

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) Largan Precision Co., a Taiwan-based smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., posted a less than 1 percent month-on-month increase in sales for September.

Amid concerns over the shipments of the latest new iPhones Apple unveiled in September, Largan said it posted NT$5.52 billion (US$179 million) in consolidated sales for September, up only 0.19 percent from August.

But the latest sales were a new high since November 2017, when the company's revenue stood at NT$5.62 billion.

The September figure was also up 1.38 percent from a year earlier, Largan said.

Largan explained that due to weaker-than-expected demand from its major clients, its sales for October could fall compared to September.

In the third quarter of this year, Largan's consolidated sales rose 33 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$16.33 billion, and also grew 9 percent from a year earlier.

The sales growth in the July-September period reflected peak season effects, but market analysts said the increase seemed unsatisfactory to the market since Largan received lower-than-expected orders from Apple as well as Chinese smartphone brands.

Apple launched three new iPhones last month. The more expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max went on sale globally on Sept. 21. The mid-range iPhone XR is scheduled to hit the market later this month.

Analysts said many consumers were still waiting for the more affordable iPhone XR by putting their purchase plans on hold, so Largan's sales growth momentum was expected to not accelerate until November.

In September, 20 megapixel lenses or more advanced devices which command a higher profit margin accounted for 10-20 percent of Largan's total sales, 10 megapixel lenses made up 60-70 percent of total sales and 8 megapixel lenses represented 10-20 percent of the total, the company said.

In the first nine months of this year, Largan's consolidated sales rose 1 percent from a year earlier to NT$37.51 billion.

Largan has scheduled an investor conference for Oct. 11 to release its third quarter results and give sales guidance for the fourth quarter and even a market forecast for next year.

Analysts said the upcoming investor conference has been watched closely by investors, who have seen Largan shares taking a beating in recent sessions on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

On Friday, Largan shares shed 7.28 percent to end at NT$3,440.00 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange amid concerns over sales of new iPhones as well as more fund outflows from the region at a time of a stronger U.S. dollar.

Since the beginning of this year, Largan shares have lost more than 14 percent in value. Still, the stock remains the most expensive one in the local equity market.

Meanwhile, Catcher Technology Co., a metal casing maker for Apple, posted NT$9.24 billion in consolidated sales for September, up 10.7 percent from a month earlier but down 19.3 percent from a year earlier.

In the third quarter, Cather's consolidated sales totaled NT$25.09 billion, up 20.9 percent from a quarter earlier, but down 8.5 percent from a year earlier.

In the first nine months of this year, Catcher generated NT$66.25 billion in consolidated sales, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier.

(By Han ting-ting, Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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