VTech Announces 2013/2014 Interim Results

                  VTech Announces 2013/2014 Interim Results

  PR Newswire

  HONG KONG, Nov. 13, 2013

-- Further growth in revenue and profit with margin improvement

HONG KONG, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  *Group revenue was up by 1.9% to US$892.4 million
  *Profit attributable to shareholders of the Company increased by 4.7% to
    US$95.2 million
  *Gross margin improved by 1.3 percentage points to 31.7%
  *Strong balance sheet, with deposits and cash of US$94.7 million and debt
    free
  *Interim dividend of US16.0 cents per ordinary share, same as the dividend
    paid in the corresponding period last year

VTech Holdings Ltd (HKSE: 303) today announced its results for the six months
ended 30 September 2013, reporting higher revenue and profit with an
improvement in gross margin.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090615/HKM004 )

Group revenue for the six months ended 30 September 2013 increased by 1.9%
over the same period of the previous financial year to US$892.4 million. This
was primarily due to higher revenue in North America and Asia Pacific, more
than offsetting lower revenue in Other Regions. Revenue in Europe was flat
compared with the same period last year.

Profit attributable to shareholders of the Company increased by 4.7% to
US$95.2 million. The rise in profit was mainly attributable to higher revenue
and an improved gross margin. Basic earnings per share consequently increased
by 4.4% to US38.0 cents, compared to US36.4 cents in the corresponding period
last year.

The Board of Directors (the Board) has declared an interim dividend of US16.0
cents per ordinary share, which is the same as the dividend paid in the
corresponding period last year.

"I am pleased to report that VTech delivered both top-line and bottom-line
growth in the first half of the financial year 2014, despite a
weaker-than-expected performance of telecommunication (TEL) products in
Europe," said Mr. Allan Wong, Chairman and Group CEO of VTech Holdings
Limited. "The Group also benefited from lower cost of materials, resulting in
an improved gross margin and contributing to a higher profit during the
period."

Costs and Operations

In the first half of the financial year 2014, labour costs and manufacturing
overheads in China continued to rise, as the minimum wage increased and the
Renminbi appreciated further. This was offset by lower cost of materials and
the Group's success in optimising product design. All these factors resulted
in an improved gross margin during the period.

Segment Results

North America

Group revenue in North America increased by 3.8% to US$455.8 million in the
first half of the financial year 2014. The increase was due to higher revenue
from TEL products and electronic learning products (ELPs), while contract
manufacturing services (CMS) revenue in the region held steady. North America
remains the largest market for the Group, accounting for 51.1% of Group
revenue.

In the first half of the financial year 2014, revenue from TEL products rose
by 2.1% to US$201.5 million as VTech maintained its position as the number one
supplier of cordless phones in the US. Sales of residential phones increased
as the Group benefited from further consolidation in the market. Growth in
this established product category was supplemented by higher sales of
non-residential phone products, including small-to-medium sized business (SMB)
phones, hotel phones and baby monitors. The SynJ® cordless business phone
system increased its share in the SMB market, while the Synapse® business
phone system began to reap the rewards of an improved sales strategy and
better market segmentation. Sales of hotel phones have grown, as VTech has
established itself as a reliable supplier to an increasing number of leading
hotel chains. A strong increase in sales of baby monitors was recorded in the
first half of the financial year, attributable to the expansion of
distribution channels.

During the period, CareLine™, VTech's home-safety telephone system designed
specifically for the fast-growing seniors market, has received excellent
feedback from consumers and generated a good number of favourable online
reviews. The Group also shipped the world's first home entrance monitoring
system which combines a versatile cordless phone with a digital video door
bell. The product has been well-received by customers.

ELPs revenue in North America during the first six months rose by 8.5% to
US$157.8 million. The growth was driven by higher sales of standalone and
platform products. Among standalone products, infant products were the key
driver. VTech's line of smart infant vehicles and playsets, Go! Go! Smart
Wheels™, sold strongly and has been included in numerous recommended toy lists
for the upcoming holiday season, including Walmart's '2013 Holiday Top Toy
List Chosen By Kids', The Toy Insider's 'Hot 20 Toys for the Holidays' and
Amazon.com's '2013 Holiday Toy List'. Switch and Go Dinos®, the line of
interactive pre-school toys that transform between dinosaurs and vehicles,
also contributed to higher sales of standalone products.

Sales of platform products rose during the period, as higher sales of the
InnoTab® range more than compensated for lower sales of MobiGo® 2 and
V.Reader®. VTech's new generation of tablets, InnoTab 3 and 3S, hit the
shelves in the US in late August this year. InnoTab 3S has been selected as
one of the Toy Insider's 'Top Tech 12', raising its profile among shoppers
looking for the best technology toys. The InnoTab 3S exclusive bundle has also
been included in '2013 Holiday Hot Toy List' from Toys"R"Us.

During the period, VTech once again set the industry standard by the
introduction of VTech Kid Connect™, a ground-breaking communication app
exclusive to the VTech InnoTab 3S. The app gives pre-schoolers as young as
three years old the ability to communicate with their parents and older
siblings, by exchanging voice messages, text messages, stickers, photos and
drawings, all within a kid-safe, kid-friendly environment. Through these
innovative features, children can communicate with their parents' smartphones
and tablets, as well as with friends or siblings anywhere in the world who
also have an InnoTab 3S.

CMS revenue in North America increased by 0.3% to US$96.5 million. Although
growth was seen in professional audio equipment, home appliances,
communication and wireless products, this was mostly offset by a decline in
sales of solid state lighting and industrial products. During the period, the
Group added a new customer in the professional audio area, owing to its strong
reputation in the industry.

Europe

Group revenue in Europe was up by 0.2% to US$352.7 million, as higher revenues
from ELPs and CMS were offset by lower revenue from TEL products. Europe is
the second largest market for the Group, accounting for 39.5% of Group
revenue.

Revenue from TEL products decreased by 25.3% to US$79.2 million. The decline
was due to lower sales of cordless telephones, which was the result of market
weakness and management's decision to focus on higher margin business. Sales
of the Group's baby monitors and connected home™ devices, however, continued
to grow during the period.

Revenue from ELPs in Europe was up by 10.3% over the first half of the last
financial year to US$141.5 million. Educational tablets led the growth, along
with Toot-Toot Drivers®, the line of smart infant vehicles and playsets, and
Switch and Go Dinos. During the period, the InnoTab range was updated in the
UK market with the introduction of InnoTab 3 and 3S, while Storio® 2 was sold
in all VTech's major markets in Europe.

These product lines garnered a number of important awards during the first six
months of the financial year 2014. Toot-Toot Drivers Train Station was given
the 'Toy Grand Prix 2013 Award (Pre-school category)' by France's La Revue du
Jouet magazine, while InnoTab 3 was selected as one of the 'Top Toys for
Christmas 2013' by Smyths Toys Superstores in the UK.

Geographically, France, Germany, the Benelux countries and Spain saw good
growth during the period, while sales were lower in the UK.

CMS revenue in Europe rose by 12.1% during the first half of the financial
year 2014 to US$132.0 million. The sales increase was driven by professional
audio equipment, wireless headsets and home appliances. Professional audio
equipment posted robust growth, as the Group benefited from the new product
launch of a customer. The addition of a new customer in Germany also
contributed to growth. Wireless headsets saw higher sales, driven by good
sell-through of a customer's products and the Group's ability to gain more
orders at the expense of the competition. During the period, VTech added a new
customer in Italy in the area of home appliances, which led to higher sales in
that category. In contrast to other categories, sales of switching mode power
supplies declined owing to lower sales of solar power inverters.

Asia Pacific

Group revenue in Asia Pacific increased by 3.3% to US$52.7 million in the
first half of the financial year 2014. The region accounted for 5.9% of Group
revenue.

Revenue from TEL products was up by 2.7% to US$19.2 million. Growth was seen
in Australia and China, driven by higher sales of integrated access devices
and cordless telephones respectively. Sales in Japan returned to normal levels
as compared with the strong rebound seen in the same period last year when the
country was recovering from the severe earthquake.

Revenue from ELPs in Asia Pacific was US$11.9 million, a 6.3% increase over
the same period last year. Sales were higher in China, as VTech made further
inroads into the market. Shipment to Australia, the biggest market for ELPs in
Asia Pacific, was down due to the overall softness in the Australian toy
market.

CMS revenue in Asia Pacific increased by 2.4% as compared with the first half
of the previous financial year, to US$21.6 million. Sales of marine radios and
medical & health products were higher, offsetting lower sales of solid state
lighting. During the period, VTech started shipping the first item of a new
product category, testing and measurement equipment, to its Japanese customer.

Other Regions

Other Regions include Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Revenue in
the first half of the financial year 2014 was US$31.2 million, down 8.5% as
compared with the same period last year. These regions accounted for 3.5% of
Group revenue.

Revenue from TEL products increased by 3.6% to US$20.2 million. Growth was
seen in Latin America, offsetting the sales declines in the Middle East and
Africa.

ELPs revenue in Other Regions decreased by 25.9% to US$10.6 million. The
decline was mainly due to lower sales in Latin America and the Middle East.

CMS revenue in Other Regions was US$0.4 million, as compared to US$0.3 million
in the same period last year.

Outlook

The operating environment in VTech's major markets is likely to remain
challenging for the remainder of the financial year. In the US, the pace of
recovery appears to be slowing, while many European economies face conditions
that are still tough and uncertain. Nonetheless, the Group is optimistic of
achieving top-line growth with improved gross profit margin for the full
financial year 2014.

Although labour costs and manufacturing overheads are expected to rise
further, these will be offset by lower cost of materials, resulting in gross
margin improvement year on year. VTech is, however, planning for higher
advertising and promotional expenses in the second half in order to maintain
sales in a competitive environment.

Sales of TEL products are expected to pick up in the second half. The
residential phone businesses in Europe and Other Regions are improving.
Continued growth is expected in North America and Asia Pacific, driven by
further market share gains and new product launches. The non-residential phone
business will continue to expand, driven by a number of significant new
product launches globally in the second half of the financial year. These
include VTech's first wireless conferencing system, a SIP (Session Initiation
Protocol) terminal, SIP-based commercial phones, new models of baby monitors
and connected home devices.

The positive momentum in ELPs is expected to carry into the second half,
driven by the good sell-through of standalone products, especially Go! Go!
Smart Wheels and Switch and Go Dinos. Sales of platform products are expected
to hold steady. In light of the keen competition in the children's tablet
market in the US and the UK, aggressive advertising and promotions have been
planned for the holiday season.

CMS is expected to see growth in the second half of the financial year. The
sales increase will be driven by more orders from existing customers in
professional audio equipment and wireless headsets. Additional business from
new customers in both existing and new product categories will also support
growth.

"We have made a solid start to the financial year 2014 and look set to
continue on a growth path in the second half of the financial year. Even
though the operating environment in our key markets remains challenging, VTech
will continue to leverage its strength in product innovation, strong balance
sheet, market leadership and operational excellence to bring sustainable
returns to shareholders," said Mr. Wong.

About VTech

VTech is the world's largest manufacturer of cordless telephones, and the
largest supplier of electronic learning products from infancy to pre-school in
the US and Western Europe. It also provides highly sought-after contract
manufacturing services. Founded in 1976, VTech's mission is to be the most
cost effective designer and manufacturer of innovative, high quality consumer
electronics products and to distribute them to markets worldwide in the most
efficient manner.

Note: Starting from 22:30, 13 November 2013 (HK time) , the video archive of
the 2013/2014 interim results announcement can be accessed through VTech's
homepage www.vtech.com in the " Webcasts " section under " Investors ".

For further information, please contact:

Grace Pang                   VTech representative in Hong Kong
VTech Holdings Ltd           Sue So, GolinHarris
+852-2680-1000 (office)      +852-2501-7984 (office)
+852-2680-1788 (fax)         +852-2810-4780 (fax)
grace_pang@vtech.com (email) sue.so@golinharris.com (email)
                             VTech representative in the US
                             Tara Kozak Lindsay
                             +1-212-373-6020 (office)
                             +1-212-373-6001 (fax)
                             tkozaklindsay@golinharris.com (email)



Website: http://www.vtech.com
Website: http://www.vtech.com/en/investors/webcasts
 
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