January has marked a good start to 2011 for the Group with strong sales momentum continuing in January 2011, which recorded an increase of 55% as compared to the same period last year. The strong performance was due to the continued growth of our relatively new products such as notebook internal signal cable and connectors and also the strong demand for our relatively mature products such as external signal cable assembly as a result of production capacity expansion and new business development. Such good start is attributable to the combined efforts of the Group ongoing strategic planning in terms of production capacity, sales and marketing, product development and the effort of all our staff.
In terms of production capacity, since June 2010， the Group has begun to execute the planned increase in production capacity in Weihai, Suzhou and Dezhou which include the building of new facilities with gross floor area of about 58,000 sqm and purchasing about RMB16 million worth of production machines and equipments. As a result, production capacity of external signal cable assembly, internal signal cable assembly, power cord, signal transmission cable and connectors about increased by 17%,30%,57%,20% and 50% respectively.
In terms of staffing, the month of January due to the impact of the Chinese Spring Festival has traditionally resulted in the slow down and delay of production and delivery of products for many Chinese manufacturing enterprises as production staff returned in mass to their home provinces for the festivity. To ensure that our production schedule and products delivery status went smoothly, our Group adopted a series of steps and measures, such as (i) making better use of our Dezhou production facility including, moving a large part of our relatively more labour intensive assembly work (which is the latter stage of our production process) for our external
and internal signal cable assembly to our Dezhou production facility where workers are mostly locals instead of immigrants from other provinces, providing incentives to existing workers in Dezhou in order for them to refer their associates and friends to join us as temporary staff and stepping up our recruiting exercise in Dezhou to attract returning Dezhou locals to join us; (ii) for our Weihai, Suzhou, Shenzhen plants etc. where percentage of non local workers are relatively higher, we provided extra subsidies and incentives such as overtime wages, subsidizing their travel fares etc in order to attract them to stay during the run up to the festive period; (iii) increased production shits to three shits from two in order to maximise production output and; (iv) we also encouraged workers, by compensating them up to three times in terms of time off for every hour they work during the festive period, to delay their trip home to May and June, where there is less production pressure due to seasonality factor.
In terms of product development, our new products developed in the fourth quarter of 2010 such as wireless antenna and halogen-free insulating materials continued to increasingly gained recognition by our customers in our target markets. We have also towards the end of 2010 successfully developed a new type of high speed cable called MINI-DP, which boasts a transmission speed of 84GHz per second by utilizing its unique seven transmission channels and is able to support the conversion and transmission of 3D images. We believe that such product could become the future standard for data/signal transmission cables used in global high-end consumer electronic products. As we enter 2011, increased awareness and recognition by our customers for our new products have resulted in significant increase in sales attributable to these new products developed in the fourth quarter of 2010.
In terms of marketing and development of new customers, we never stood still too. Starting in October 2010, we have already proactively engaged our customers in discussion and negotiation with regards to their planned procurement for 2011 and at the same time, leveraging on our “one-stop” solutions and products capability, begun to cross-sell them our new products in order to gauge their interest and also to gather their feedback in order to improve and fine-tune our new products. Entering 2011, we have registered encouraging increase in total committed procurement amount from several of our major customers including Samsung, LG, TPV Technology and Innolux. At the same time, our international sales and marketing center in Taipei has been actively developing new customers and as our new Japanese customers begun their procurement from us towards the end of 2010, we believe that contribution from such new customers would continue to gain momentum as we increasingly build up our track record with them in terms of production and delivery capability and product quality.
We extend our appreciation to all our staff who have contributed to our good start for 2011 and we remain committed to strive to leverage on our existing competitive advantages of strong research and development capability, integrated business model, solid customer base, to increase our market share for our existing products, to continue to develop new products and enter new markets in order to maintain a sustainable and stable growth for our Group.