South Korea’s Lumens has begun supplying backlight modules (BLU) for Samsung Electronics’ laptops as of September this year, according to industry sources on Oct. 25.
Lumens will be supplying around 30% of the total demand. This is the first time the firm has supplied such parts for laptops, and is now expected to raise 24 billion won more of revenues a year on the deal – triggering forecasts that Lumens may turn to the black in the latter half of this year.
“BLU does not lead to a big bulk of sales, but the operating profit rate is quite high,” said one Lumens official. “For this year, the month sales will be around 500 million won, but we expect it to rise to 2 billion won by 2020.”
Based on an LED light source, BLU is a part of Lumens’ LED business, which has been on the decline over the past three years. In 2017, sales dropped to 302.8 billion won from the previous year’s 353 billion won, further falling to 205.8 billion won in 2018. In the first half of this year, it stood at 72.5 billion won.
“The unit prices of BLU for TVs have been slipping 15% per quarter,” said another Lumens official. “We’ve been adding new products to the lineup to improve the bottom, line, but this hasn’t been working and Samsung Electronics wasn’t too eager about developing BLU products.”
For this year, about 40% of Lumens’ revenues are expected to come from its auto IT business, up from the previous years; in 2018, such revenues had accounted for only 20% of the entire portfolio. The firm supplies LED lamps for another auto parts maker, which supplies to carmakers such as Hyundai Motor and GM.
In 2017, Lumens had posted an annual deficit of 9.2 billion won which further deepened to 20.3 billion won last year. In the first half of this year, the firm reduced the amount to a deficit of 8.3 billion won.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.