MSI intends to raise the prices of its graphics cards due to mitigate tight supplies and various other current impacts on its business, according to a report published by Taiwan tech industry journal DigiTimes. This isn't based upon loose talk by industry insiders; the intention was voiced by MSI chairman Joseph Hsu in a talk with investors earlier this week.
Hsu told the investors that tight supplies would mean that MSI wouldn't be able to make as many graphics cards as it would otherwise – throughout 2021 as far as he could see. Meanwhile, demand for GPUs, as well as other popular MSI lines like motherboards and gaming laptops is going to be robust for at least the rest of the year with the 30-50 per cent shipment gains in 2020 set to be boosted by further double-digits this year.
It all sounds rosy for MSI so far, except that bit about not being able to maximise sales of GPUs simply due to supply constraints, but there were some other factors Hsu highlighted to investors which meant that profits weren't as high as they could have been in Q4 2020. MSI's Hsu explained that the profits were hit by the following negative factors; the growth in strength of the Taiwan Dollar, product mix considerations, delayed marine shipment schedules, increasing transportation expenses and surging marketing expenses for year-end holidays. On a positive note the global logistics system is expected to slowly return to normal over the next few months (as long as the Suez Canal can be unblocked), easing costs in this part of the business.
Having noted all the above, MSI's profits for 2020 were at record-breaking levels. The firm saw net profits rise 42.4 per cent in 2020, to reach NT$7.96 billion (US$276.97 million / £203.23 million). Moreover, MSI has just recorded revenues of NT$13.26 billion for February 2021, the highest level ever for the month, up 63 per cent year-on-year.
Interestingly, DigiTimes suggests MSI will be busy in Q2 as there are some "new GPUs" on the way from Nvidia, and also partly due to Intel Z590 chipset motherboard demand as Rocket Lake arrives at the end of this month.