E Ink Holdings expects revenue to recover this year

2024-03-08 / News / 3808 Sees / 0 Comments

E-paper display supplier E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技) yesterday said its revenue growth is to recover this year as its customers rapidly adopt new four-color e-paper displays used in electronic shelf labels (ESLs).

Last year, customers’ inventory adjustments of previous-generation three-color e-paper displays slowed down their use of new four-color e-paper displays for ESL and constrained E Ink’s revenue growth, the firm said.

The supply chain issue “is not a concern now,” E Ink chairman Johnson Lee (李政昊) told investors yesterday, adding that customers’ inventories are expected to return to a healthy level this quarter.

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People visit E Ink Holdings Inc’s booth at a trade show in Taipei in an undated photograph.

Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times

In addition, the supply of driver ICs and display modules used in the new ESL displays are expected to improve this year, he said.

“The first quarter will be the trough for the ESL business, which will improve every quarter this year,” Lee said.

Feedback from its partners showed that about 80 percent of its customers plan to adopt four-color e-paper displays this year, compared with 20 percent in October last year, he said.

“Overall, the outlook for 2024 will be better than 2023,” Lee said. “Revenue this year will also be higher than last year, with the growth rate hinging on customers’ product transitions.”

E Ink posted revenue of NT$27.12 billion (US$861 million) for last year, down 9.78 percent from NT$30.06 billion in 2022.

Considering the clearer visibility for its ESL business, e-paper for consumer electronic applications — mostly e-readers and e-notes — are a “wild card” this year, Lee said, citing customers’ delayed launches of new models equipped with color displays.

E Ink expects its new production line in Hsinchu, dubbed H5, to enter volume production in the fourth quarter at the earliest to produce large-size e-paper displays measuring 85 inches to 95 inches (216cm to 241cm) for outdoor signages.

Another new production line, H6, is to enter operation in 2026 to manufacture even larger e-paper displays, the firm said.

The company has decided to restart its new plant construction in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) this year, and is expanding module capacity in China for super-large e-paper displays from 75-inch to 100-inch displays, it said.

The Hsinchu-based company’s net profit fell 21 percent last year to NT$7.82 billion, from NT$9.91 billion a year earlier, and earnings per share dropped to NT$6.85, from NT$8.69.

Non-operating profit shrank 12 percent annually to NT$2.54 billion, attributable to a dip of 60 percent in royalty income, it said.

The firm’s board of directors last month approved a cash dividend distribution of NT$4.5 per share, with a payout ratio of 66 percent, up from 52 percent the previous year.



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