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AU Optronics Corp. Reports a 19-Quarter High Operating Margin of 9.4% for First Quarter 2015 (2015.04.28)

AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today held its investor conference and announced its unaudited consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2015(1).

Consolidated revenues in the first quarter of 2015 were NT$95.30 billion, down 9.6% from the previous quarter. Gross profit was NT$14.35 billion, with a gross margin of 15.1%. Operating profit was NT$8.95 billion, with an operating margin of 9.4%. AUO's net profit for the first quarter of 2015 was NT$5.27 billion. Net profit attributable to owners of Company was NT$5.16 billion, with a basic EPS of NT$0.54(2).

In the first quarter of 2015, large-sized panel(3) shipments totaled 26.80 million units, down by 8.9% quarter-over-quarter. Shipments of small-and-medium-sized panels in the same quarter were around 42.65 million units, roughly flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.

AUO's unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter of 2015 were highlighted as below:

  • Revenues of NT$95.30 billion
  • Operating profit of NT$8.95 billion
  • Net profit of NT$5.27 billion
  • Basic EPS of NT$0.54(2)
  • Gross margin was 15.1%
  • Operating margin was 9.4%
  • EBITDA(4) margin was 23.4%

Looking back to the first quarter, affected by the seasonal factors and its annual maintenance during slow season, AUO's revenue declined by 9.6% quarter-over-quarter. However, thanks to the significant enhancement of its cost and expense structures, along with the positive effects brought by the currency fluctuations, the Company's operating profit was better than expected and reached NT$8.95 billion, growing by nearly 13 times year-over-year. It is also worthwhile to mention that AUO's operating and EBITDA margins in the first quarter rose to 9.4% and 23.4%, respectively, both reaching the highest ratios over the past 19 quarters. These operating results in the first quarter were on par with the Company's peak season performance in the second half of 2014. In addition, the Company's financial structure also continued to improve, and its net debt to equity ratio was further lowered to 25.9%, a new low in recent years.

Over the past few years, AUO has fully executed the strategy of "Focus, Simplification and Value Added" on its technologies, products and internal management. The Company's significant improvements in cost optimization and operating efficiency in the first quarter have demonstrated its accumulated, long-term efforts. Looking forward to the second quarter and the future, facing the macroeconomic uncertainties, AUO will continue to strengthen its product mix as well as technological competitiveness, and also improve its cost control and management, aiming to increase its capability to withstand economic fluctuations and ultimately enhance its long-term profitability and stability.

(1) All financial information was unaudited and was prepared by the Company in accordance with Taiwan IFRS.
(2) Basic EPS in the first quarter of 2015 was calculated based on the weighted average outstanding shares of the reporting quarter (9,624 million shares).
(3) Large size refers to panels that are 10 inches and above in diagonal measurement.
(4)EBITDA = Operating Profit + D&A, that is, operating profit before depreciation and amortization.