Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) Largan Precision Co., a Taiwan-based supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., reported Tuesday that its sales in January bounced back slightly from a month earlier.
In a statement, Largan said it posted consolidated sales of NT$3.35 billion (US$109 million) in January, up 4 percent from a month earlier.
The latest sales report beat the company's sales guidance, which expected January revenue to stay little changed from a month earlier.
The January sales represented a mild rebound from December, when Largan's revenue plunged 19.49 percent from November at a time of disappointing sales of the latest iPhones, unveiled in September 2018.
But they were still down 5 percent from January 2018, after sales fell 33.86 percent year-on-year in December, according to the company's figures.
During the month, 20 megapixel camera lenses or more advanced models, which command a higher profit margin, made up 20-30 percent of Largan's total sales, 10 megapixel lenses represented 50-60 percent, and 8 megapixel lenses accounted for 10-20 percent, Largan said.
Largan CEO Adam Lin said at an investor conference in mid-January that the company's sales in February could fall from January because of fewer working days due to the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, which ends Sunday.
A U.S.-based brokerage said in a recent research note that Largan's sales are expected to stage a rebound in March as Chinese and South Korean smartphone brands prepare to launch new models in the second quarter.
The American brokerage said Largan's sales for the second quarter could rise 26 percent from the first quarter, when the company's revenue is forecast to fall 24 percent from a quarter earlier.
An Asian brokerage cautioned, however, that Largan is still faced with escalating competition from Chinese rivals, in particular Shenzhen O-Film Tech Co., which could trigger a price war on the back of rising supply.
While demand for iPhones appears disappointing at present, Largan said it remains upbeat about its business over the longer term.
The company spent almost NT$3 billion in late January to buy two lots of land in two industrial parks in Taichung to build new plants to expand its production capacity.
Largan's consolidated sales in 2018 totaled NT$49.95 billion, down 5.98 percent from a year earlier, and its net profit was down 6.18 percent from a year earlier at NT$24.37 billion, translating to earnings per share of NT$181.68, down from NT$191.77 in 2017.