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Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Ritek upbeat for CD-R, DVD disc sales in 2004

Global demand next year could reach 11 billion to 12 billion units for CD-R discs and 1.5 billion units for DVD-R/+R discs, Ritek CEO Gordon Yeh predicted yesterday.

Demand for CD-R discs will continue to grow until the market becomes saturated in 2007-2008, but prices are expected to remain steady in the coming years due to a stable supply and demand situation, Yeh said.

The outlook is more promising for DVD-R/+R discs, with Hewlett Packard (HP) predicting global demand to hit two billion units in 2004, while other sources predict at 4.2-4.5 billion units in 2005, according to Yeh.

To cope with the increasing demand, Ritek plans to ramp up its combined production of CD-R and DVD-R/+R discs by 25% on-year in 2004, Yeh said. The Ritek group is currently cranking out a combined total of more than 170 million CD-R and DVD-R/+R discs per month, according to Yeh.

The Ritek group’s capital spending will exceed NT$4 billion in 2004, compared with an amount of between NT$3 billion and NT$4 billion this year, based on Yeh’s conservative estimate.

As part of the group’s expansion project, Ritek plans to build a new plant in southeastern China aimed at the Chinese mainland’s vast market, said Yeh, adding that the plan may be finalized in the first quarter of next year.

The projected new plant will have a capacity to roll out between 40 million and 60 million optical storage discs per month, Yeh said.

According to the Japanese research firm Fujiwara-Rothchild, Ritek’s DVD-R/+R discs accounted for 30.7% of the global market in the third quarter of 2003 and DVD-RW discs 24.5%.

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