AUO reports net loss in fourth quarter (update)
Central News Agency
2013-02-06 07:39 PM
Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) Taiwanese flat-panel maker AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) reported Wednesday a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 due to asset impairment losses and expenses incurred over anti-trust cases. The world's No. 4 maker of liquid crystal displays reported a net loss of NT$13.17 billion (US$453 million) for the quarter, slightly less than the NT$16.48 billion recorded in the previous quarter. Its consolidated revenue in th e fourth quarter was NT$99.4 billion, down 3.3 percent from the previous quarter, with an operating loss of NT$4.8 billion. The Hsinchu-based company said it suffered about NT$4.3 billion-worth of asset impairment losses and roughly NT$3.3 billion in anti-trust-related expenses and losses in the fourth quarter. In the October-December period, AUO's large panel shipments reached around 31 million units, down 6.7 percent from the third quarter, while its shipments for small- and medium-sized panels dropped by 10.8 percent quarterly to 37.6 million units. AUO forecast that its large panel shipments will drop less than 10 percent sequentially during the current quarter, with small- and medium-sized panel shipments falling about 20 percent. Looking forward to 2013 as a whole, the company said it has a chance of gaining a bigger share in the small- and medium-sized panel market, with more top-tier brands added to its customer base. "2013 will be a new year for us to start over," AUO President Paul Peng told an investors' conference. Peng said TV panels will remain the major driver for the company's earnings this year, with AUO's shipments of the ultra-high-definition "4K2K" TV panels expected to grow significantly from last year. Furthermore, Peng said he expects AUO's mobile PC panel business to grow rapidly this year because the company has already shipped products to the global top five tablet computer vendors. For mobile phone panels, he said, AUO is seeking a more balanced customer base globally and a deepened partnership with handset makers in China. China is forecast to account for 30 percent of the 2013 worldwide smartphone shipments, Peng added. However, Peng did not specify whether AUO will turn a profit this year, saying only that the company's non-operating losses will not be as heavy a burden as they were last year. (By Jeffrey Wu)
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