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TFT-LCD panel makers register record sales figures

All five of Taiwan’s major TFT-LCD panel manufacturers registered record single-month sales in October.

AU Optronics, Taiwan’s largest panel maker and the world’s third largest, reported October sales of NT$24 billion, a month-over-month growth of 9.4 percent and year-over-year growth of 21.8 percent.

It is expected AU would register sales of NT$200 billion for the entire year, according to analysts.

Meanwhile, AU shipped out 3 million large-size panels in October, marking a new milestone for the company.

Chi Mei Optoelectronics, Taiwan’s second largest panel maker, reported sales of NT$16.998 billion for October and NT$17.444 billion when combined with its subsidiary IDTech. The combine sales represented a month-over-month growth of 5.6 percent and year-over-year growth of 78.1 percent.

Output of large-size panels was pretty much at the same level of 2.427 million, the company said.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (CPT) reported October sales of NT$11.08 billion, a month-over-month growth of 11 percent and year-over-year growth of 26 percent. Both the company’s October sales and output of 1.5 million were a historic high.

Quanta Display Inc. announced un-audited sales figure of NT$6.829 billion in October, a single-month record for the company. October sales grew 10 percent from September and a whopping 62.5 percent from the same period last year.

The company also announced large-size panel output was 1.266 million in October, a historic high. Output for small- and medium-size panels was 205,000.

Quanta and CPT’s sales from January to October, however, represented a decline from the same period last year.

HannStar, the last of the five manufacturers, reported October sales of NT$5.95 billion, a historic high. The figure represented a growth of 7.4 percent from September and 122.27 percent from October 2004.

October large-size panel output was 1.047 million, a 9.3 percent growth from September, the company said, adding 19-inch panel accounted for 50 percent of total output.

Taiwan is now the world’s second largest TFT-LCD manufacture after South Korea.

The industry is listed as one of the two trillion-dollar industries set forth by the government — the other one being the semiconductor industry — under the Two-Trillion, Two-Star national development project.

While the October sales figures were impressive, the five companies still face calls for mergers and acquisitions to make Taiwan’s TFT-LCD industry stronger and more competitive.

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