Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Ayala’s IMI opens sixth factory in China

E. N. J. David
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/main/content.php?id=8845

AYALA-LED Integrated Micro-electronics, Inc. (IMI) has opened its sixth factory in China.

In a statement released to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the electronics firm said the new factory at Chengdu, in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, aims to “bring IMI’s services closer” to its clients.

The plant at Xindu District’s Muwei Industrial Park was inaugurated last April 9.

“IMI’s expansion to Chengdu is part of our strategy to bring IMI’s services closer to original equipment manufacturers which increasingly require greater capacity in China to supply a large domestic market as well as to manufacture for export markets, said IMI Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala in the statement.

“We believe China will remain at the center of the global electronics manufacturing industry and will be a significant driver of the world economy as it regains its growth momentum. Having this strategic position in the region will allow us to capture a greater share of volume orders as demand turns in step with the economic cycle,” Mr. Zobel said.

Listed IMI manufactures electronics components for equipment manufacturers. It has three plants in Shenzen and one each in Jiaxing and Chongqing.

Arthur R. Tan, IMI president, said in the statement the company took into account the rising costs of manufacturing and labor supply shortages elsewhere in expanding into Chengdu.

“We were invited by one of our key customers to support their new plant in Chengdu. We also have customers based in Chengdu that are currently serviced by our plant in Chongqing, which is also located in southwestern China. With our new plant in Chengdu, we can offer to bring our expertise nearer to them. Southwestern China’s manufacturing costs are more competitive compared to those in the coastal cities. It also has the largest pool of migrant workers,” said Mr. Tan.

The 7,500-square-meter plant will handle printed circuit board assembly and full product assembly.

IMI posted a net income of $10 million last year, a turnaround from 2008’s $17-million loss. Revenues, however, dipped to $400 million in 2009 from $441 million in the previous year.

In February, IMI filed a notice of redundancy with the Department of Labor and Employment to lay off 405 workers after one of its clients has closed shop.

Shares in IMI closed at P12.25 apiece in yesterday’s trading, up by 2.1%.

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