Major South Korean camera lens firms saw their earnings decline in the third quarter.
In 2020, Sekonix posted 272 billion won in sales as of the third quarter and operating loss of 14.8 billion won. In sales, it is a decline of 26% from a year ago. The company turned to the red in the period.
Other companies have also posted losses in the same period.
Diostech posted 5.9 billion won in operating loss (sales of 58.6 billion won); Kolen marked 22.3 billion won in operating loss (sales of 32 billion won)l and Digitaloptics saw operating loss of of 14.1 billion won (sales of 25 billion won).
These decline in profits is likely caused by the dominance of Taiwan’s Largan Precision and China’s Sunny Optical in Samsung’s supply chain.
The two companies combined is through to supply between 20 to 30% of the lends used by Samsung for its smartphones.
These two companies’ production capacity were also ten times that of their South Korean counterparts.
Camera module companies Partron, Mcnex and Powerlogics saw their sales rise 30 to 70% in 2019 but their lens earnings were flat due to the dominance of the Taiwanese and Chinese companies.
Sekonix saw its sales rise 10% from a year ago in 2019 but its operating profits dropped to one-eighth of what it was.
South Korean lens companies are looking to develop high-value lens to survive.
Sekonix is shifting focus on camera modules for cars, instead of those for smartphones which currently accounts for 40% of its sales. The company is a supplier to Hyundai and Kia. It is attempting meed demand from the automobile companies in areas such as viewing and sensing.
Diostech was acquired by CoAsia recently. CoAsia recently became the camera module vendor for the rear camera of Samsung smartphones.
Kolen is attempting expand supply for lens used in budget model smartphones. Around 70% of its lens were used for flagship smartphones but the company is aiming to lower this to 30% and expand supply to budget models. It is part of a national project to develop folded zoom technology.