(Corrects to mln in first bullet point, instead of bln)
* H2 net profit $57.3 mln; mkt f’cast was $100.9 mln profit
* 2009 revenue down 22 pct, as firms outsource less
* Shares down 9 pct this year, lagging big board (Adds details)
HONG KONG, April 15 (Reuters) - Foxconn 2038.HK, the world's top contract cellphone maker, returned to the black in the second half, but its results were well below forecasts, as it said the global economic recovery remained tenative.
“In 2010, while the overall economic and consumer confidence seem to improve from the trough, Greece and the rest of Europe still could bring more uncertainties and macro risks to the global economy,” Foxconn said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Research firm iSuppli said on Wednesday that while shipments at the world’s top 10 contract cellphone makers were expected to rise in 2010 to 204 million units, it remains well below the 280 million units seen in 2008.
The tech sector has, however, been showing positive signs, with better-than-expected 2010 revenue and margin forecasts from tech bellwether Intel INTC.O raising expectations for a stronger recovery. [ID:nSGE63D09P]
“There’s been a clear rebound in demand for consumer electronics in the second half of 2009, if you go by how Foxconn’s peers in Taiwan are doing,” said Lu Chialin, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in Taipei before Foxconn released its results.
“However, a discretionary item like a cellphone is very volatile business, and it’s one of the first things consumers pull back on if the economy starts going downhill.”
The company swung to a second-half net profit of $57.3 million from a $21 million loss for the same period a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on company figures.
The results lagged market expectations for a $100.9 million net profit, according to a poll of 14 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Its shares are down over 9 percent so far this year, lagging a roughly 1 percent rise on the Hang Seng Index .HSI.
Revenue fell 22 percent to $7.2 billion from $9.3 billion in 2008, as cash-strapped consumers opted for cheaper products and as increasing competition depressed prices.
Most top brands carry out their own design work, but depend on contract manufacturers such as Foxconn and Singapore-based Flextronics FLEX.O for the manufacturing. (Reporting by Kelvin Soh, editing by Will Waterman)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.