Apple contractor Foxconn posts below-forecast profit on soaring operating costs

Foxconn earns most of its profits from manufacturing smartphones for Apple and other brands. (Reuters)
Updated 14 August 2018
0

Apple contractor Foxconn posts below-forecast profit on soaring operating costs

TAIPEI: Foxconn posted second-quarter net profit well below expectations as a rise in component costs and unsold inventory weighed on the performance of the Apple supplier and world’s top contract electronics maker, analysts said.
The company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, reported net profit of T$17.49 billion ($567.25 million) late on Monday, 20 percent short of analyst expectations and slightly below the year-earlier results. Foxconn shares fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday.
Analysts said the results reflected concerns about a loss of momentum in global smartphone sales. Last week, Foxconn unit FIH Mobile Ltd. posted a wider first-half loss and acknowledged that it faced a high risk of saturation in the smartphone market.
Foxconn’s results showed that its gross margin narrowed in the second-quarter in part owing to the cost of carrying unsold inventory of the iPhone X. Overall global smartphone shipments fell 3 percent to 350 million units in the April-June quarter compared with a year earlier, market research firm Strategy Analytics says.
However, Vincent Chen, an analyst at Yuanta Research, predicted a brighter outlook projected by Apple would benefit Foxconn and boost its margins in the third quarter.
Apple has forecast above-consensus revenue for later in the year, when it typically launches new iPhone models. Reports suggest these models will use OLED screens, which can display colors more vividly.
“We expect Hon Hai to be the main assembler of OLED version new iPhones and we believe the OLED iPhone model will see better demand in 2H18F,” Chen said in a research note.
The company’s report also illustrates its moves to diversify by pushing into new areas such as display screens — it bought Sharp Corp. earlier this year — autonomous car startups and investments in cancer research.
Still, Foxconn earns most of its profits from manufacturing smartphones for Apple and other brands and from Foxconn Industrial Internet, a unit that makes networking equipment and smartphone casings, among other things.
“Investment in factory automation and component price hikes capped gross margin,” said Fubon Research analyst Arthur Liao. Foxconn’s operating costs jumped 18.8 percent in the quarter.
Liao noted that Foxconn absorbed some expenses related to the Sharp acquisition this quarter, as well as development costs from setting up a factory in the US, and taking Foxconn Industrial public in June.


Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

Updated 23 September 2018
0

Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

  • The company would concentrate on its core strength, ‘powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles’
  • But Porsche promised it would keep servicing diesel models on the road now

BERLIN: Sports car maker Porsche said Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and resulting urban driving bans.
“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Instead, the company would concentrate on what he called its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”
The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at auto giant Volkswagen, the group to which the luxury sports car brand belongs.
VW in 2015 admitted to US regulators to having installed so-called “defeat devices” in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests.
It has so far paid out more than €27 billion in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.
Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution — a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin later Sunday.
Stuttgart-based Porsche in February stopped taking orders for diesel models, which it had sold for nearly a decade.
Blume said Porsche had “never developed and produced diesel engines,” having used Audi motors, yet the image of the brand had suffered.
“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” he said, months after Germany’s Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe.
Blume promised that the company would keep servicing diesel models on the road now.
According to the paper, Porsche also faces claims of having manipulated engines to produce a more powerful sound with a technique that was deactivated during testing.
Blume acknowledged that German regulators had found irregularities in the 8-cylinder Cayenne EU5, affecting some 13,500 units.
Merkel, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and heads of German auto companies were due to meet in Berlin later Sunday to discuss steps to avoid more city driving bans.
The German government hopes to see one million fully electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2022, up from fewer than 100,000 at the start of this year.