South Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd has reported a rise in first-quarter revenue to KRW257.5bn (about US$228m), due to strong sales in general lighting and strength across all segments in the IT division, with automotive lighting in particular driving profits.
For the lighting division, technologies such as Wicop and Acrich boosted sales, supplemented by newly launched products such as filament LEDs and chip-on-board (COB) products. In addition, automotive exterior lamps such as daytime running lights (DRLs) and headlights continued their rapid growth.
For the IT division, sales growth was driven mainly by existing customers expanding their product line-ups, supplemented by new customers. As a result, overall company revenue rose significantly despite the weak seasonality normally seen in Q1. In particular, the mobile and TV segments of the IT division saw noticeable growth, leading to better-than-expected sales and profitability.
The improving operating profit drove operating margin up by 223% year-on-year, showing how the impact of seasonality has diminished.
To improve share price stability and increase shareholder value, Seoul Semiconductor has announced a KRW10bn share buyback program, to be executed within the next six months through Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities.
Seoul Semiconductor has also been pursuing legal action against companies that infringe on its patent rights. On 31 March, it filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Germany in the District Court of Düsseldorf against global electronic components distributor Mouser Electronics Inc involving an LED product manufactured by Everlight Electronics Co Ltd that allegedly infringes Seoul Semiconductor’s patents for Acrich, MJT and Wicop LED technologies. In addition, notices have been sent to companies that have copied Seoul Semiconductor’s Wicop chip-scale package (CSP) technology (in which the chip adheres directly on the substrate without requiring the use of packages).
For Q2/2017, Seoul Semiconductor expects revenue of KRW250-270bn. It plans to further strengthen its sales and marketing activities for its proprietary technologies including Acrich and Wicop and to focus on acquiring more new customers in order to boost earnings.