AUO sees customers place orders for 2022 in advance

Panel maker AU Optronics (AUO) is already in talks about major orders for 2022, according to company chairman Paul Peng.

Usually, talks for orders for the coming year would take place between October and November, but the talks for 2022 have already kicked off, nevertheless, Peng indicated.

Shortages of LCD panels, and related materials and components, are encouraging downstream device vendors to actively initiate talks for capacity next year, Peng noted.

Display panel demand remains robust, said Peng, adding that AUO has seen visibility of customer orders by end-2021 remain “pretty high.” Despite the ongoing shortage of upstream materials, coupled with annual maintenance at several of its fabs, the company expects its total panel area shipments to grow by a slight 1-3% sequentially in the second quarter.

AUO also expects the second-quarter ASP per square meter of its panels to rise 11-13% on quarter, with fab capacity utilization rates staying high.

AUO has seen its supply fall short of customer demand since the middle of 2020, Peng indicated. The panel maker’s available production capacity is still short of customer orders by 10-30%, Peng said.

Overbooking by customers could be an issue but is thus far controllable, according to Peng.

AUO has already shifted its focus to profitability, Peng noted. The company has injected over NT$100 billion (US$3.58 billion) into the development of its high value-added products, continuing its dedication to value transformation strategy.

AUO reported net profits surged 33.4% sequentially to a nearly 13-year high of NT$11.83 billion in the first quarter of 2021, with EPS reaching NT$1.25. The company posted revenues of NT$82.94 billion in the first quarter, up about 3% sequentially and 54.5% from the same period in 2020, when gross margin climbed 5.12pp on quarter to 22.02%. DigiTimes

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