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Demand from China driving sales of Taiwan's camera lens makers

Demand from China driving sales of Taiwan's camera lens makers

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) Strong demand from the fast growing smartphone market in China is expected to drive sales growth for Taiwanese handheld device camera lens suppliers in 2013, market analysts said Saturday. Largan Precision Co. and Genius Electronic Optical Co., two of Taiwan's leading lens makers, have already benefited from the expansion in production of Chinese smartphone makers trying to satisfy growing demand from Chinese consumers, they said. According to a research report released by global market information firm International Data Corp., smartphone shipments in China 2013 are expected to grow 44 percent to 300 million. IDC said that although smartphone growth in 2013 will be slower than the 130 percent increase in 2012, the pace of growth remains impressive. Digitimes Research, a Taiwan-based research firm, said smartphone vendors are expected to account for a 61 percent share of China's market in 2012, up 29 percentage points from 2011. With an increasing presence in the market, three major Chinese smartphone manufacturers -- Huawei Technologies Co., ZTE Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. -- now rank among the top 10 smartphone vendors in the world, the research firm said. Riding the wave of popularity of smartphones in China, analysts said, Largan and Genius have already received increasing orders from China this year, driving sales to record monthly highs, and the trend is likely to continue in 2013. Largan's consolidated sales in November rose 25 percent from the previous month to NT$3.01 billion, the highest for a single month in company history and a new record for the third consecutive month. Genius recorded a 10.91 percent month-on-month increase in consolidated sales to NT$1.35 billion in November, the second consecutive month in which the company posted record sales. In a recent research note, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets maintained a "buy" rating on shares of Largan and raised the stock's target price to NT$920 from NT$890, citing optimism over demand for smartphones and tablet computers. CLSA said Largan's fourth quarter sales should be 91 percent higher than its NT$4.51 billion in sales in the third quarter. The growth target was revised upward from an earlier estimate of 60 percent. In the first quarter of next year, Largan's sales are expected to rise another 33 percent from the fourth quarter, the brokerage said. Shares of Largan rose 0.65 percent to close at NT$778.00 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Friday, while shares of Genius ended unchanged at NT$212.00. (By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)