With tablet sales up year after year, ebook reader sales have been declining, much to the dismay of E-ink. This screen manufacturer is predicting that their revenues will decrease over this quarter and the next as a result of seasonal drops in ereader sales.
In a conference call with investors, E-ink CFO Eddie Chen reported that revenue is expected to decrease between 5 percent and 10 percent from last quarter’s NT$5.86 billion ($192 million USD). With revenue at such a level, “there is a strong likelihood that E Ink will drift into the red during the first half of the year,” Chen said, citing weak seasonal demand for ebook readers.
E-ink has made great strides over the past several years in pushing into new markets like shelf labels, signage, smartwatches, and smartphones (one, two), but with the decline in ereader sales down the company just doesn't have the revenue it used to.
E-ink posted nearly double quarterly net profit for the last quarter, reaching NT$1.01 billion with most of the profit being attributed to royalties. Last quarter E-ink earned NT$820 million from licensing their screen technologies to other companies. This includes both their tech related to E-ink screens as well as the LCD screen tech developed by Hydis, one of E-ink's subsidiaries.
Chen reported that the company is working to reorganize and reduce costs. "The company is still undergoing a series of corporate restructurings aimed at improving its financial health, and there is a long way to go," Chen said.