Taiwan's HTC reports 20% jump in sales in Q4

Taiwan's HTC, the world's top smartphone maker, posted a sales growth of about 20% in the fourth quarter, indicating a decline in the growth rate for December, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said HTC had previously reported 22.3% sales growth in October year-on-year and 32.7% in November, but has yet to release its December data. Combined sales for October and November totalled NT$27.6 billion ($831 million).

The 20% growth rate for the fourth-quarter was well below a 33% year-on-year jump in sales expected by analysts, according to Reuters Esimates.

The Reuters report also quoted CFO Cheng Hui-ming as saying that a decline in the December growth rate should not come as a big surprise as the month had typically been slower for the company in the past.

He said a component shortage that HTC had discussed last month due to fast growth in the 3G market was under control, although the situation remained tight.

HTC has said it expects 2008 sales to grow about 20%, as the firm rolls out new models and builds up its own brand, the report added.

In addition to selling its own-branded smartphones, HTC serves a clientele that includes T-Mobile, Verizon, Orange, NTT DoCoMo , and PC makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard, the report further said.