Largan, Catcher sales hits record high


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Largan Precision Co. and Catcher Technology Co., two Taiwanese suppliers to Apple Inc., recorded a monthly record high in their August sales as market analysts on Saturday attributed the growth to orders from the U.S. consumer electronics giant, which is expected to launch the next generation iPhone soon.

In August, Largan, a leading smartphone camera lens maker in Taiwan, posted NT$3.96 billion (US$132 million) in consolidated sales, up 13 percent from a month earlier, and also up 65 percent from a year earlier.

During the same time, Catcher, a major Taiwanese metal casing manufacturer, registered NT$5.01 billion in consolidated sales, up 7.8 percent from a month ago, and also up 55.1 percent from a year earlier.

Largan and Catcher have been dubbed two of the major “Apple concept stocks” in the local market. The two companies are expected to ride the waves of an uptrend in orders from Apple in the second half of this year due to the demand for the iPhone 6, analysts said.

Analysts said that the companies’ sales growth reflected Apple’s efforts to build up component inventories ahead of the launch of the new iPhone.

The U.S. firm has issued an invitation to the media to attend an event scheduled for Sept. 9 and the market has widely expected that Apple will unveil new smartphone devices and even the iWatch that day.

It’s widely expected that Apple will introduce two iPhone models with larger displays. The new products will likely go on sale on Sept. 19, analysts said.

The local media has reported that China Mobile, the largest telecom operator in China, has launched a preorder sales campaign for the two new iPhones since Sept. 1 and other major Chinese telecom services providers will soon kick off their own sales promotions.

Commenting on its August sales data, Largan said that with its clients launching or preparing to launch new flagship smartphones in the third quarter, demand for advanced camera lens, in particular 13 megapixel lenses, is on the rise.

As the new iPhones are equipped with more sophisticated photographing facilities, the Taiwanese firm has witnessed the average selling price of its products growing, according to analysts.

For its part, Catcher said that the new high in August sales resulted from new smartphone models unveiled by its major clients, and the sales growth momentum is expected to continue to the fourth quarter, a peak for this year.

In the first eight months of this year, Largan’s consolidated sales gained 57 percent from a year earlier to NT$24.30 billion, while Catcher’s consolidated revenue rose 26.9 percent year-on-year to NT$33.38 billion.

Ahead of the release of the iPhone 6, analysts predict that Taiwan’s companies — major suppliers and assemblers for Apple — will reap benefits from sales of the new phone. Some investment banks have estimated that as a result, Taiwan’s exports will rise by as much as 2 percent monthly in coming months, and that its economic growth for this year will increase by 0.4 percentage points.