Apple supplier Foxconn expects decline in consumer electronics demand

Employees work in a factory at the mobile phone plant of Rising Stars Mobile India Pvt., a unit of Foxconn in Tamil Nadu, India on July 12, 2019.

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Major Apple supplier Foxconn reported a 10% year-over-year decline in profit for 2022 and anticipated a decline in consumer electronics demand for the full year ahead, the company said in its earnings report Wednesday.

The negative sentiment reflected Apple’s muted expectations for consumer sales. When Apple reported first-quarter 2023 results, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company anticipated double-digit declines for Mac and iPad sales for the coming March quarter compared with the prior year. The company added that iPhone sales will decline less in the March quarter compared with the December quarter.

Foxconn will continue to expand its presence beyond mainland China and said the exploration of new markets was a key priority for the company in 2023. Earlier this year, Foxconn committed to a major expansion of its presence in India.

Foxconn beat analysts’ top-line estimates, recording 511.85 billion Chinese yuan ($74.14 billion) for the full year, versus a consensus estimate of CNY493.95 billion, according to FactSet, but it missed on the bottom line with a net income of CNY20.07 billion.

Taiwan-based Foxconn is a major manufacturer for consumer technology firms, but it is best known for its relationship with Apple, which relies on Foxconn to produce and assemble its iPhone, among other products.

Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou garnered attention in late 2022 after videos of Foxconn employees fleeing the facility in the midst of stringent Covid lockdowns spread worldwide. The Chinese government has since pulled back on the most aggressive of its Covid protocols, but Apple and other major technology companies have emphasized to suppliers a need to diversify beyond China.

Demand for electronic goods has slowed dramatically as consumers grapple with the realities of a largely post-pandemic world. Global macroeconomic uncertainty has also dampened discretionary income, making it difficult for companies to continue the pace of rapid growth many enjoyed from 2020 to late 2021.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

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