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Taiwan's BenQ posts worse-than-expectations

Written by: Staff

Taipei, Apr 24: BenQ Corp., Taiwan's top maker of mobile phones and computer gear, swung to a loss in the first quarter as it faced restructuring pains after it took over Siemens mobile phone unit.

Analysts believe the worst is over for BenQ as new handset models help pave the way to recovery, and its affiliate, AU Optronics Corp.in which BenQ has a 13 percent stake lends support thanks to growing shipments of liquid crystal displays.

BenQ posted a net loss of T.99 billion (US5 million) in the first quarter ended March, compared with a T0 million net profit a year ago and T.02 billion net loss in the previous quarter.

The loss was worse than analysts' expectations of a T.02 billion shortfall, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the second quarter, BenQ expects shipments of mobile phones to grow over 30 percent from the first quarter, when it shipped 7 million handsets, with average selling prices up more than 10 percent from the first quarter, the company said in a statement.

It forecast second-quarter sales up more than 10 percent from the January-March period.

BenQ, which counts top U.S. personal computer giants Dell Inc.

and Hewlett-Packard Co. as major clients, has been aggressive in marketing its own brand globally, selling laptops, monitors, LCD TVs and digital cameras.

After the takeover of Siemens mobile phone unit, BenQ has become the world's sixth-largest handset maker, giving the firm an edge to compete with South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. and smaller rival Pantech Co. Ltd.

BenQ's share price dropped 15 percent in the first quarter, lagging a 1 percent gain in the benchmark TAIEX index.

The firm announced the results after the market closed in Taipei on Monday. Its ordinary shares rose 0.18 percent, compared with a 0.04 percent gain on the main index.


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