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September 22, 2017

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Touch display maker F-TPK reports '13 decline, executive salary cuts loom

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- TPK Holdings Co. (F-TPK, 宸鴻) yesterday reported discouraging operating results over the course of last year, recording a loss of NT$4.88 per share in the previous quarter, a first for the touch display maker company.

In the fourth quarter of last year, the company, despite recording a 42-percent quarter-on-quarter gain, garnered revenues of NT$41.88 billion, a figure that represents a decline of 33.3 percent on a year-on-year basis. The company attributed the decline to a lull period across the consumer electronics sector, as major brand names adjust product cycle strategies.

Throughout 2013, the company generated revenues of NT$159.07 billion, down 9.9 percent year-on-year. Sales of medium- and small-sized tablet computer panels declined by 18 percent and 24 percent respectively. Sales of touch display panels for notebook computers shrunk to 9 percent of the company's overall revenue, due to an adoption rate among consumers that failed to meet expectations, while sales of all-in-one desktop computer displays surged 216 percent year-on-year.

Most notably, the company yesterday remained mum about market hearsay that it is poised to be listed among suppliers of Apple's rumored iWatch wearable device. According to industry observers, Apple may release its iWatch device toward the latter half of this year. The market is rife with rumors that the device will have two variants and feature a 1.7-inch panel for men and a 1.3-panel for women, employing silver nanowire (SNW) technology for the units' touchscreen capabilities.

Bleak Outlook for the First Half of 2014

The company expressed a downbeat outlook on its operations in the first half of this year, while announcing its intent to forge ahead amid inclement market conditions by focusing on the higher-end niches of the touch display supply chain through specializing in offerings of touch-on-lens (TOL) and SNW modules.

Meanwhile, institutional investors stated that the company's performance this year will depend heavily on its ability to garner large-scale orders from Apple. Despite F-TPK's technical lead over competitors, the company last year was beleaguered by suppliers with lower-priced offerings, said institutional investors.

Citing reports of a number of issues in touch screen responsiveness for Apple's iPhone 5S handset last year, an institutional investor stated that with the company's leading technical edge in the sector, F-TPK's prospects may improve this year. F-TPK remains among the most viable partners for Apple as the U.S.-based company seeks to overcome the challenges of producing the iPhone 6, which is expected to be equipped with the largest display in the history of the company's handset releases.

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