Taiwanese consumer electronics vendor BenQ is continuing to lose money six months after it purchased Siemens' mobile phone division, but may be beginning to turn the handset business around, analysts say.
The company revealed the losses in its first-quarter earnings report yesterday. BenQ reported sales of $1.78bn, and a net loss after tax of $153m, for its product range, which includes PCs, notebooks, digital cameras and other consumer electronics, in addition to mobile phones.
Sales of handsets fell as the company tried to knock the loss-making former Siemens division into shape. The $153m loss was an improvement over the previous quarter, but still 20 per cent worse than analysts had predicted.
"As forecast, we sold seven million handsets in Q1, which came in below Q4 because of seasonal weakness and phasing out unprofitable models. Overall operating performance improved, however, driven by improving average selling price and lowering of operating expenses," said Eric Ky Yu, BenQ's senior vice president of finance.
Primasia Securities of Taipei warned in a research briefing that BenQ will have to confront a serious financial burden, and especially cash problem, for its handset division.
BenQ is planning to seek $500m to $600m in additional funding, the securities firm reported.
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