AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), today announced its financial forecast for 2003. Consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ends December 31, 2003 are estimated at NT$96.27 billion, representing a 27% increase from fiscal year 2002, while unconsolidated revenues are forecasted to be NT$89.84 billion. Net income for year 2003 is estimated at NT$2.58 billion. Based on estimated weighted average outstanding shares of 4,263 and 4,341 million, basic EPS and fully diluted EPS are estimated to be NT$0.61 and NT$0.60.
The Company is publishing this financial forecast for the year 2003 pursuant to the Republic of China Securities and Futures Exchange's "Guidelines for Publishing of Financial Forecasts of Public Companies", which stipulates that such an disclosure must be made following the Company's local equity issuance in 2001.
Dr. Hui Hsiung, Executive Vice President of AU Optronics, commented that unit shipment for large size panels is targeted at 11.7 million for 2003, a significant increase from the 8.3 million in 2002, while 23.0 million units are set as the target for small & medium size panels, vs. the 9.1 million last year.
On the applications side, AUO continues to expand and enhance its product portfolio, for the TFT-LCD TV segment that represents substantial growth potential, AUO will introduce its new 30"W and 46"W LCD TV panels this year, following the successful introduction of 20.1", 17"W, and 26"W LCD TV panels. AUO's LCD TV panel shipment is expected to increase gradually throughout 2H 2003 with the contribution of the new G5 capacity.
Mr. HB Chen, President and COO of AU Optronics, reiterated that 2003 represents a very challenging year for TFT-LCD Industry. However, AUO is well prepared to take advantage of all the potential opportunities behind the challenges ¡V supported by one of the most solid financial position in the industry, AUO is fully committed to its expansion plan, while continue to provide our customers favorable solutions via our superior product design, process and production capabilities.
In response to the future robust demand of LCD TV panels, AUO has applied to the National Science Council for its new capacity expansion plan in the Taichung Science-Based Industrial Park, to set up a new AUO production base. AUO¡¦s next generation TFT-LCD fab in Taichung Science Park, which is currently under planning, is scheduled to commence construction by end of 2003 and expected to begin commercial production in 2005. AUO is likely to be the first major TFT-LCD manufacturer to establish its presence in Taichung Science-Based Industrial Park, and is expected to attract associated sector players to potentially create a new optronic cluster in Taichung Science Park with its industry leadership position, which would help accelerate the economic development in Taichung.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
The statements included in this announcement and in the website that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements, which may include statements regarding AU Optronics' future results of operations, financial condition or business prospects, are subject to significant risks and uncertainties and are based on AU Optronics' current expectations.
Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including, among other things: the cyclical nature of our industry; our dependence on introducing new products on a timely basis; our dependence on growth in the demand for our products; our ability to compete effectively; our ability to successfully expand our capacity; our dependence on key personnel; general economic and political conditions, including those related to the TFT-LCD industry; possible disruptions in commercial activities caused by natural and human-induced disasters, including terrorist activity and armed conflict; and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates.
Additional information as to these and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from AU Optronics' forward-looking statements can be found in AU Optronics' registration statement on Form F-1 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on May 15, 2002.