Foxconn’s Gou sees brisk biz at least until January

TAIPEI • Terry Gou (picture), chairman of iPhone-assembler Foxconn Technology Group, said his company’s business will remain strong at least until January amid growing concern over cooling demand for Apple’s flagship product.

“Our business is very good up till at least January,” Gou said on Saturday in an interview outside a polling station in Taipei, before voting in local elections. He didn’t elaborate on the outlook for the rest of 2019.

Bloomberg News reported last Thursday that an internal Foxconn memo characterised 2019 to be a “very difficult and competitive” year. The Taipei-based company is the main assembler of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and splits iPhone XR with smaller rival Pegatron.

According to the memo, the company will slash 20 billion yuan (RM12.18 billion) in expenses next year from this year’s level, with six billion yuan coming from its iPhone unit. It also plans to cut 10% of its non-technical staff.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at GF Securities, said Gou’s comments don’t necessarily reflect better than expected iPhone demand, after four Apple suppliers on three continents lowered their outlook last week.

Pu said Foxconn may also get a boost to sales for the rest of this year on customer requests to expedite shipments of PC and server components before US tariffs on some Chinese imports are raised further at the beginning of 2019. — Bloomberg