LeEco-owned Coolpad halts trading of shares in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 March, 2017, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 31 March, 2017, 11:00pm

Coolpad Group, the struggling smartphone supplier controlled by LeEco, has halted trading of its shares in Hong Kong as the company announced a possible delay in the publication of its financial results for last year.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, Coolpad chairman and LeEco chief executive Jia Yueting said the request to halt trading was made because the company auditor “requires more time for conducting the audit of the 2016 annual results”.

The announcement has come four months after Coolpad issued a profit warning for last year, as it estimated a HK$3 billion loss from a net profit HK$2.3 billion in 2015.

The Shenzhen-based company, in which LeEco holds a 28.9 per cent stake, attributed the estimated loss last year to a large decrease in sales, mainly due to the economic downturn on the mainland and fierce competition in the domestic smartphone market.

“The group only introduced one new smartphone product to the market in the second half of 2016 and has been focusing on the inventory clearance,” Jia said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange in November.

The group only introduced one new smartphone product to the market in the second half of 2016 and has been focusing on the inventory clearance
Coolpad chairman Jia Yueting

He pointed out that Coolpad was still adjusting its strategy through “business restructuring and development of an open retail channel”, which included a broad network of retailers and online stores.

Previously, Coolpad handsets were sold through the retail channels of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

Oppo, Huawei Technologies, Vivo, Apple and Xiaomi were the top-five smartphones suppliers in mainland China last year, with combined shipments of 310.6 million units, data from research firm IDC showed.

As the world’s biggest smartphone market, the mainland is predicted to account for 25.2 per cent of the estimated 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide this year, according to research firm eMarketer.

Jin Di, the research manager at IDC China, said on Friday that Coolpad has lagged behind other Chinese smartphone brands in terms of updated technical specifications and range of models available in the market, which have mostly been low-end devices.

Coolpad shipped 12.8 million smartphones on the mainland last year, down from 25.5 million in 2015, according to IDC.

Shares of Coolpad were down 1.37 per cent to 72 Hong Kong cents at the close of trading on Thursday.