AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the"Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced its unaudited consolidated results of operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. Consolidated net sales totaled NT$18,263 million, a 13.2% growth from 4Q02. AUO also returned to profitability in 1Q03, posting net income of NT$179 million, a significant improvement from net loss of NT$(778) million in 4Q02. Gross profit for the quarter amounted NT$1,890 million, rising 185.6% from NT$662 million in 4Q02. Gross margin for the period was 10.3%, compared with 4.1% in 4Q02. Operating income and Operating margin were NT$582 million and 3.2%, respectively, vs. an operating loss of NT$(574) million and negative operating margin of (3.6)% for 4Q02. Basic EPS for 1Q03 is NT$0.04, vs. a net loss per share of NT$(0.29) in the previous quarter.
The first quarter results are generally in line with our earlier guidance given during our 4Q02 announcement. Successful internal cost control and product mix improvement were the main drivers for AUO¡¦s 1Q03 results to outperform its peers in Taiwan.¡¨ said AUO VP & CFO Max Cheng.
Unit shipment of 1Q03 large size panels grew about 6% QoQ to 2.33 million. The increased weighting of large size panels was mainly contributed by increased shipment of 17¡¨ desktop monitor panels and 15¡¨ NB panels. Accordingly to the latest estimates of DisplaySearch, AUO has been ranked No. 2 worldwide in total desktop monitor panel shipment for both 1Q03 and 4Q02, while maintaining its top 2 global position in 17¡¨ monitor panels. On overall large size panel shipment, AUO ranked No. 3 globally with a 12.1% of the market.
Applications for small and medium size panels are primarily consumer electronics related, hence the unit shipment declined approximately 15% QoQ to 2.62 million units, impacted by seasonality factors in a typical first quarter low season for consumer electronic products. Notwithstanding, AUO sustained its leadership position in the small and medium size arena, ranked by DisplaySearch as the No. 2 supplier of Digital Still Camera panels (22.6% global market share), and No. 3 panel supplier for Car Navigation applications.
1Q 2003 Consolidated Financial Results: QoQ Comparison Highlights
o Net sales grew 13.2%QoQ to NT$18,263 million
o Gross profit of NT$1,890 million represents a 185.6% QoQ growth from NT$662 million in 4Q02, whilst gross margin increased from 4.1% to 10.3%
o Operating income returned to profitability, posting a positive NT$582 million in 1Q03 vs. operating loss of NT$574 million in 4Q02, whilst operating margin improved from negative (3.6)% to 3.2% this quarter
o Net income NT$179 million vs. net loss of NT$(778) million in the previous quarter
o 1Q03 Basic EPS of NT$0.04 vs. loss per common share of NT$(0.29) in 4Q02