News Column

Hana senses rising demand for sensors

August 21, 2014

By Nop Tephaval, Bangkok Post, Thailand

Aug. 21--SET-listed Hana Microelectronics Plc, a maker of printed and integrated circuit boards, expects higher sales revenue in the second half from the same period last year on the back of increasing demand for sensors in the automotive and smartphone sectors.

"In terms of volume, sensors for smartphones will grow the fastest but in terms of revenue, the automotive sector will lead the way," said chief executive Richard Han.

Hana posted sales revenue of 9.8 billion baht in the second half last year.

Its revenue for the second quarter this year surged 30% to 5.5 billion baht from 4.3 billion last year.

However, its net profit in the second quarter tumbled 32% to 686 million baht from 1.01 billion in the same period last year due to an absence of a one-off gain worth 712 million baht from a flood insurance claim realised in the April-to-June quarter of 2013.

At present, 33% of Hana's production is allocated to personal computers, 19% to automotive products, 15% to telecommunications and the remainder to others.

"Within two to three years, we hope to increase production for the automotive sector to 30% because demand in the sector is less cyclical compared with smartphones and computers," said Mr Han.

He said the Asia-Pacific region is still enjoying strong growth in car sales because of demand from China. More manufacturers are opening facilities to serve rising demand in the region, attracting suppliers to follow by setting up their facilities in the area.

Sensors in cars are used in components to monitor pressure, heat, light, seating, fuel and the rear-view mirror.

"The use of sensors for light-emitting diode (LED) components in cars is growing and is increasingly included in mid-range and eco-cars, not just high-end cars, because of improved safety and reliability," said Mr Han.

Hana has already begin shipping sensors for LED modules and production will be ramped up in 2015.

Mr Han said the increase in demand for smartphone sensors will largely be driven by low-cost smartphones.

Chinese brands in particular have continued to expand their presence and gain significant shares of the global market.

"Hana produces an array of sensors for smartphones, so the volume will expand as the demand for cheaper smartphones expands," Mr Han said.

Hana is also benefiting from a stabilised global laptop market from the second quarter compared to last year. It produces 45% of global demand for laptop touchpads and has gained more market share since the previous downturn.

HANA shares closed yesterday on the SET at 36 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 37.2 million baht.


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Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)

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