SK Nexilis said on Tuesday that it may build its fifth copper foil factory at Jeongeup a month sooner than initially planned.
This will mean the factory could go live as soon as 2021 and began selling copper foil within the year.
Company CEO Kim Young-tae said at its fourth quarter conference call that construction was initially slated to begin in the first half of 2021 with process change notification done in the second half for sales to began in January 2021.
But there was a need to start the project sooner from high demand for copper foil and customers’ production schedules, the CEO said.
SK Nexilis was in talks with its customer over the timing of process change notification, Kim said. Once they reach an agreement, sales from the fifth factory could began sooner, he said.
On SK Nexilis’ production capacity not able to meeting rising demand for copper foils in the current state, the CEO said the company will continue to increase productivity and react to customers fast to minimize short-term market share lost.
The CEO added that annual and mid to long-term contracts were the upmost importance for the company.
Lee Yong-sun, head of industry materials at SKC, also said the company expects more application from customers of its transparent polyimide films in the second half. The films are used as cover glass for foldable and rollable phones.
Lee said more products besides mobile such as tablets will use polyimide films beginning in the second half. He said there will be a momentum for the company in the business. He declined to provide specifics from confidentiality agreements with customers.
Lee said transparent polymide films had advantages over ultra-thin glasses as cover windows and both were needed in the industry for the foldable product market to grow.
SKC’s subsidiary SKC Solmics is expected to see sales growth of over 10% this year, company executives said. Expanded factory production this year will allow for sales of up to 500 billion won from the company, they said, with an operating income of 30 billion won.
SKC said it expected annual sales of between 3.1 trillion won to 3.4 trillion won this year, with operating income of 250 billion won to 300 billion won. Last year, the company posted 2.7 trillion won in sales, a rise of 14.5% from 2019. Annual operating income in 2020 was 190.8 billion won, a jump of 36.5% from the previous year. SKC said its acquisition of copper foil business and selling of equity helped with the earnings.
SKC’s mobility material business, which includes SK Nexilis, last year recorded sales of 371.1 billion won and operating income of 52.9 billion won. The chemical business, meanwhile, posted 699.1 billion won in sales and 88.2 billion won in operating income. Industry material business recorded sales of 992.9 billion won in sales and 63.1 billion won in operating income. The semiconductor material business marked 395.3 billion won in sales and 17.4 billion on in operating income.