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HIWIN delivers optimistic revenue forecast

Machinery maker HIWIN Technologies Co (上銀科技) expects its annual sales to reach NT$20 billion (US$664.3 million) this year, up from last year’s NT$16 billion due to robust customer demand, company chairman Eric Chuo (卓永財) said yesterday.

The forecast is based on growing demand for its benchmark products — ball screws and linear guideways — from global clients in the semiconductor industry, HIWIN said.

Demand from customers in the automotive industry also remains strong this year, Chuo told media at the Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robot Show in Taipei, citing the better-than-expected order visibility.

To differentiate itself from global competitors, HIWIN plans to launch “smart” ball screws in the near term, which would be equipped with sensors to indicate the temperature and report short circuits.

The company said it would begin distributing the cutting-edge products to one of Mercedes Benz’s major suppliers next year. It did not elaborate.

Apart from its core products, the company also hopes to secure more orders of medical-use robots from Taiwanese and South Korean clients by the end of this year. Some of the nation’s hospitals began using HIWIN’s surgical robots this month, Chuo said.

In light of strong growth momentum in its robot segment, revenue generated by industrial robots is expected to contribute more than 10 percent of the firm’s total revenue over the next three years, compared with nearly 8 percent last quarter, HIWIN said.

The company has not released its revenue figures for last month.

Cumulative revenue for the first seven months of this year reached NT$11.2 billion, a 27.2 percent year-on-year increase, company data showed.

Shares in HIWIN yesterday gained 0.74 percent to close at NT$270.5 in Taipei trading. The stock has risen 82.77 percent this year, easily beating the broader market’s 13.99 percent increase over the same period, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Another leading machinery maker, Tongtai Machine and Tool Co Ltd (東台精機), echoed Chuo’s industry outlook, saying that local machinery suppliers are generally optimistic about the second half of this year.

Taiwanese machine tool makers have benefited from rising customer demand for high-end automated equipment in the Chinese market, Tongtai chairman Yen Jui-hsiung (嚴瑞雄) told the Taipei Times.

Demand has grown most significantly in China’s automotive industry, Yen said, adding that Chinese auto parts suppliers are trying to meet higher standards set by global car brands through industrial transformation.

However, supply shortages of key components could continue to weigh on Taiwanese machinery makers’ operational efficiency in the second half, he added.

Tongtai, which manufactures processing systems for printed circuit boards, saw sales in the first eight months of the year drop 2.26 percent to NT$4.6 billion, data showed. Tongtai shares increased 3.66 percent to NT$21.25 yesterday.

Taken from: Taipei Times By Kuo Chia-erh/Staff reporter 9/7/2017