Fall in iPhone demand hits lens maker Largan’s sales

TAIPEI • Largan Precision Co Ltd, which supplies camera lenses to Apple Inc, said revenue in December fell by a third amid weakening appetite for iPhones in China.

Sales dropped 33.9% from a year to NT$3.23 billion (RM434.29 million), and were in line with Largan’s estimates, a company spokeswoman said on Saturday. The company, which also makes lenses for Huawei Technologies Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, said revenue in January is expected to be “flattish from the previous month”.

Apple said on Jan 2 that China sales came in lower than expected in the holiday quarter when it slashed its revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades. The announcement triggered a 10% decline in Apple shares the next day, the biggest drop in almost six years, and drove down the stocks of many suppliers to the company. Largan shares declined about 5% over the past two sessions.

Largan’s results came in better than some buy-side managers’ expectations as they were estimating December sales to be as low as NT$2.6 billion, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at GF Securities. Sales of about NT$3.23 billion in January would also beat some analyst estimates, he said.

“Largan’s December result and guidance for January show that while iPhone demand continues to be tepid, Chinese smartphone makers are not faring as bad as feared,” Pu said. “Meanwhile, orders from Samsung are also making minor contributions to its revenue.” — Bloomberg