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Macroblock cautious about LED driver IC sales prospects for 2H22

LED driver IC design house Macroblock has expressed caution about its sales prospects for the second half of 2022 due to excess inventories for general offerings held by its customers, but it is still expected to end the year with double-digit revenue gains, partly bolstered by stable shipments to China for new energy vehicles, according to industry sources.

The company's May revenues slipped 26.5% sequentially and 9% on year to NT$259 million (US$8.7 million) on impacts from COVID lockdowns in Shanghai and other eastern Chinese cities. But its January-May sales rose 18.04% from a year earlier to NT$1.323 billion.

Macroblock's revenue performance for June will remain in low gear as downstream display system clients have slowed down taking in components amid the worsening global inflation, the sources said, adding that its shipments of miniLED driver ICs for TV applications are also being hit by Samsung Electronics' latest move to suspend purchase of components for its end-market devices.

Furthermore, the sources continued, its quotes for commodity LED driver ICs have since late 2021 fallen all the way to pre-pandemic levels of CNY0.13-0.15 in the second quarter of 2022 from a high of CNY0.60-0.70 seen a year earlier, due mainly to swelling inventory in the China market amid lingering unclear sales prospects for consumer devices.

Nevertheless, Macroblock remains confident about a double-digit revenue growth for 2022, as it will reduce the shipment ratios for commodity LED driver ICs and increase shipments for automotive applications with higher prices in the second half of the year, the sources said.

The company in early June kicked off China-bound shipments of miniLED backlight driver ICs for central display systems of new energy vehicles, with the sale to ramp up steadily in the months ahead. It has also sent sample lighting driver ICs for validations by first-tier automotive components suppliers, covering applications such as automotive headlights, directional lights, daytime lights and interior lighting solutions.