Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Taiwan flat panel maker AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) reported consolidated revenue Thursday of NT$81.1 billion (US$2.75 billion) for the first quarter of this year, down 9.4 percent from the previous quarter.
It managed to reduce its operating loss for the first quarter to nearly NT$13.49 billion, down from nearly NT$18 billion in the previous quarter, while its net loss was down to around NT$13.8 billion from almost NT$20.99 billion, with a loss per share of NT$1.54, the company said in a statement.
The company attributed the negative growth rate to the time of year -- traditionally a low season for the industry -- but said that it managed to improve its operating margin sequentially over the previous quarter through effective cost controls.
First-quarter shipments of the company's large-sized panels reached around 27.3 million units, up 1.8 percent from the previous quarter, while shipments for small and medium-sized panels were around 36.7 million units, down 21.1 percent quarter-on-quarter.
AUO Chief Financial Officer Andy Yang said at an investor conference in Taipei that overall shipments fell by some 5 percent in the first quarter, while the average selling price dropped about 3 percent.
Based on the current business outlook, shipments of large panels are expected to grow within a percentage range between the high single digits and the low teens quarter-on-quarter, with the average selling price growth rising to a percentage in the mid-single digits, Yang said.
In the case of small and medium-sized panels, shipments are also expected to grow slightly, he said, adding that the company expects its overall container loading rates to be slightly higher than in the previous quarter.
AUO President Paul Peng, who also attended the investor conference, expressed optimism toward the business outlook for 2012 as a whole, saying that his company's consolidated revenue is expected to bottom out after the first quarter.
"Supply and demand is expected to be healthy and balanced, and thus the average selling price is also expected to improve," Peng told reporters after the conference.
The company issued the report at the close of trade on the Taiwan stock market, in which its shares ended 2.5 percent lower at NT$13.65.
(By James Lee)