This research says 2014 was a good year for majority of PCB companies, as output value of PCB industry touched USD59.6 billion, rising 3.7% against 2013, the fastest growth rate since 2011. Looking forward to 2015, a collapse in prices of commodities, especially in that of copper, will significantly reduce raw materials costs of PCB companies, thus further driving their profit margins.
In 2014, in key regions of PCB manufacturing, euro, NTD, and yen all depreciated sharply, while the won appreciated, dealing a heavy blow to South Korean PCB industry and cutting profit margins of the country’s PCB companies, which all suffered declines in revenue and profit margins, no exception for Samsung’s SEMCO, whose revenue from PCB business glided 2.4%, revenue from IC Carrier business dropped by 19%, and operating margin fell to below 1% from about 9%.
Taiwanese companies and European ones, benefiting from currency devaluation, saw a surge in profit margins, while Japanese peers didn’t gain from yen depreciation, as more than half of their production bases are located in foreign countries, but still performed better than South Korean counterparts.
HDI was still a main engine of growth in rigid PCB field in 2014, and is expected to maintain the momentum in 2015. As mobile phone screens become larger, PCB for mobile phone has to react accordingly. To ensure light weight and thinness of mobile phone, the demand for more advanced Anylayer HDI increases tremendously. As Anylayer HDI technology is time- and -capacity consuming, combined with Panasonic’s withdrawal from Anylayer HDI field, various PCB companies will expand Anylayer HDI capacity in 2015. In 2014, the company registered largest growth in revenue from HDI PCB business was Taiwanese Compeq, which boasts customers like Apple and Xiaomi with impressive performance, jumping by 28.3% to USD690 million, one step away from industry leader Unimicron.
Another spotlight in 2014 was PCB for server. With further penetration of internet economy, the coming of big data era, and influx of large amounts of capital into network economy, the demand for server ushers in explosive growth. PCB for server requires high Tg and low Loss, with layer growing more higher, up to 28, driving continuous increase in unit price of PCB for server since 2009. The companies that specialize in PCB for server, such as Taiwanese WUS Printed Circuit and ACCL, accomplished good results, with WUS Printed Circuit’s revenue ascending by 20% and ACCL’s 27%.
Regarding rigid PCB, LED lighting stimulated demand for metal PCB with good heat elimination performance. Taiwanese T.P.T, GIA TZOONG, and mainland Chinese Shenzhen Kinwong Electronic, which are skilled in metal PCB, all enjoyed a decent level of growth. In addition, PCB for automobile also did a good performance.
The most sensational event in PCB industry in 2014 was the merger of TTM and Viasystems. The combined company is absolutely No. 1 manufacturer with total revenue approximating USD2.5 billion. TTM enjoys a strong position in cellular phone and networking/telecom, and Viasystems in automotive and industrial fields, showing a perfect complementation.
Global and China Rigid PCB Industry Report, 2014-2015 is primarily concerned about the followings:
Overview of global rigid PCB industry, Analysis of PCB downstream market, PCB development trend, Analysis of photoelectricity, laptop computer, auto and memory PCB industry, Ranking of PCB industry, 33 PCB Companies
PCB industry can be divided into three categories: rigid PCB, FPCB and substrate. And FPCB and substrate are the emerging industries, for there was only rigid PCB in the early stage. Despite the rapid growth in FPCB and substrate in recent years, rigid PCB has still occupied over 50% of the total industry. And quite a few rigid PCB vendors have gained profits that are not less than that of FPCB and substrate.
PCB industry is fairly mature, with the growth rate generally not more than 6%. And the output value of rigid PCB vendors has long been declining. The year 2012 witnessed a hard time of rigid PCB vendors at a time when smartphone and tablet PC market showed an unexpectedly rapid growth, which sent rigid PCB vendors into fierce price war, thus leading to a drop in profit and revenue. Meanwhile, large PCB companies believed that the traditional rigid PCB had not enough growth potential so that they were beginning to shift their focus to FPCB and substrate. In 2013, almost all the rigid PCB vendors outside mainland China turned around and even better in 2014 with a higher profit.
In the future, large PCB vendors will concentrate on FPCB and substrate while maintain the status quo for rigid PCB. The major vendors to expand substrate include Unimicron, SEMCO, LG INNOTEK, AT&S, DAEDUCK, Shennan Circuit, SIMMTECH, and the companies, such as Zhen Ding Technology, Young Pong and DAEDUCK GDS will go to the field of FPCB. However, only Ibiden will be committed to development of rigid PCB. In addition, some large vendors go directly into EMS field, such as Tripod Technology and Hannstar Board, the largest laptop PCB giant. This would make the future demand and supply of traditional rigid PCB more balanced, but the high-end any layer and HDI will be obviously in short supply.
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