AU Optronics Corp. ( " AUO " or the " Company " ) ( TAIEX : 2409 ; NYSE : AUO ) today released unaudited consolidated results for the three months ended March 31, 2005. All financial information was unaudited and was prepared by the Company in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Taiwan ( " ROC GAAP " ), the amounts in New Taiwan Dollars ( " NT$ " ) were translated into US dollars ( US$ ) at NT$31.545 per US$1.00 based on the closing board rate by Bank of Taiwan on March 31, 2005.
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2005, AUO's consolidated revenues totaled NT$38,837 million ( US$1,231 million ), a 1.7% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2004. Net loss in the first quarter 2005 decreased 4.4% to NT$2,129 million ( US$67 million ) from the previous quarter. Basic EPS was negative NT$0.43 per common share and negative US$0.14 per ADS in the first quarter of 2005.
Mr. Max Cheng, CFO of AUO commented " the first quarter results were largely in line with our guidance announced during our fourth quarter 2004 investor conference. AUO's blended ASP of large-size panels remained relatively stable in the first quarter 2005, primarily due to an increase in product mix of larger panels, despite sizable decline in same-product ASP compared to the previous quarter. Through effective cost control, increase in capacity utilization rate, and component cost-down, we are able to deliver a gross margin of 3.2% for 1Q'05, similar to that of fourth quarter 2004. In addition, inventory continues to improve with inventory days declining significantly from 44 days at the end of 2004 to 38 days as of March 31, 2005 ".
AUO's large-size panel shipment ( 10 " and above ) reached 6 million in 1Q'05, a 9.0% increase Q-o-Q and a 46% growth Y-o-Y. Shipment of small- and medium-size panels ( mostly for consumer applications ) totaled 8.6 million, posting a seasonal decline of 11.1% from the previous quarter but a remarkable Y-o-Y growth of 66.4%.
Dr. Hui Hsiung, Executive Vice President of AU Optronics Corp. added. " AUO's new sixth-generation fab ( " G6 " , 1,500mm x 1,850mm ) that commenced ramp-up process in March 2005 is well on track. Following commercial production of 19 " monitor panels and 32" TV panels, the G6 Fab is now test producing 37 " LCD TV panels. The new capacity contributed from ongoing G6 ramp-up would support an increase in large size panel shipment in the second quarter 2005. We are targeting to ramp up its monthly substrate input capacity to 30,000 substrates from 5,000 at end of March 2005 and further to 60,000 substrates by end of this year. We expect the ramp-up of our 6G fab to be well-timed to capture growing demand from the emerging LCD TV market, especially from the mainstream 30 " - 40 " size segment.