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Wednesday, April 06, 2005
BenQ and TPV see LCD monitor gross margins rebound in 1Q

BenQ estimates that its gross margins from the LCD-monitor segment rebounded from negative to positive in the first quarter of this year.

The main reason for this positive turn is that prices for LCD panels stopped falling, according to a report in today's Chinese-language AppleDaily. TPV Technology also estimates that its margins grew sequentially in the first quarter, the paper added.

After suffering a loss in the LCD-monitor segment in the fourth quarter of last year, despite increased shipments, BenQ is considering establishing a new production line for LCD monitors in Europe, according to sources. Currently, the company has a monthly capacity of one million LCD monitors in Suzhou (Jiangsu Province, China) and 60,000-80,000 units in Mexico, the sources noted.

The company declined to comment on plans for a new production line.

TPV, the world's largest LCD-monitor manufacturer, also saw its margins drop to 4.7% in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2003, the company said. However, the margins rebounded to 5% in the fourth quarter, and the company expects prices to remain steady. This year, TPV also anticipates its LCD-monitor shipments will overtake its CRT shipments, with CRT shipments expected to fall 20% on year to about 10 million units, according to the company.

In related news, Lite-On Technology said it has been lowering the proportion of its total revenues contributed by the LCD monitor segment by increasing its focus on sales of high-profit products, including LED and imaging products. LCD monitors accounted for more than 50% of its revenues in the first half of last year, while declining to 41% in the second half of 2004 and 35% in the first quarter of this year, the company added.

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