AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409;
NYSE: AUO), the world's third largest manufacturer of large-size TFT-LCD panels,
today announced its unaudited consolidated results of operations for the three
months ended March 31, 2004. All financial information was prepared by the Company
in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Taiwan ("ROC
GAAP") on a consolidated basis. There are many differences between ROC GAAP
and U.S. GAAP, some of which are described in the notes to the financial statements
contained in the Company's annual report on Form 20-F filed with the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission on June 30, 2003. The unaudited consolidated
financial information mentioned herein is not necessarily indicative of our future
AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced unaudited consolidated financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2004. Both consolidated net sales and net income for the first quarter of 2004 set record high performance for a single quarter. Consolidated net sales totaled NT$41,331 million for 1Q 2004, a 20.2% increase over the previous quarter. Net income rose 54.2% QoQ to reach NT$11,669 million. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2004 were NT$2.68.
"The solid 1Q 2004 performance is mainly attributed to the smooth ramp up and high yield rates achieved at AUO's fifth generation production facilities (5G fabs), cost control, product mix enhancement and capacity allocation optimization. As a result, the gross profit for the first quarter 2004 increased 45.7% to NT$14,045 million, compared to NT$ 9,637 million in the previous quarter; gross margin improved to 34% in the first quarter from 28% in the fourth quarter of 2003. Our operating profit for the quarter totaled NT$11,734 million, with operating margin of 28.4%, as compared to 21.8% for the previous quarter." commented Mr. Max Cheng, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
"AUO's unit shipment of large size panels totaled 4.1 million, a 14% increase QoQ and 76% growth YoY. The strong shipment data is supported by continued growth in customer demand for large size panels during the first quarter, with pricing remained stable."
Dr. Hui Hsiung, Executive Vice President, noted that "Our Phase I 5G fab (L8A, 1,100x1,300mm) has completed the ramp up process as end of 2003, with monthly glass input capacity of 50,000 substrates. The Phase II 5G fab (L8B, 1,100x1,300mm), which has commenced mass production in February 2004, is currently in the ramp-up process. The monthly glass input capacity of L8B has increased to 30,000 substrates at end of March and is expected to reach full capacity of 70,000 substrates in the third quarter of 2003. AUO's combined 5G production facility glass input capacity is expected to reach 120,000 substrates per month by then."
Unit shipment for small and medium size panels in first quarter 2004 continued to experience seasonal decline, decreased 19.5% to 5.2 million QoQ, but increased 98% YoY. One of AUO's 3.5G production line at fab L3B has been converted to focus on small size LTPS TFT-LCD production, such as digital still camera and handsets.
Unaudited Q1 2004 Results Compared with Q4 2003(1)(2)
|Amount: NT$ Million Except Per Share Data||1Q'04||4Q'03||Growth Rate|
|Fully Diluted EPS||--||1.74||--|
Safe Harbour NoticeExcept for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements were based on our management's expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 30, 2003.