Viva Launches Hybrid SACD Plant in Hong Kong [HFR]

Viva Magnetics, one of the world’s largest CD production companies announced today that it has formed a new subsidiary company, Viva SACD Ltd. to replicate Hybrid SACD discs. Viva SACD will replicate Hybrid SACD discs in the Viva Magnetic plant in Hong Kong.

According to Viva SACD officials, the new company will focus on the replication SACD hybrid discs. Scheduled to start production in January 2003, the new Hybrid SACD production lines are expected to quickly reach a capacity of 10 million Hybrid SACD discs per year.

Meeting Increased Demand for Hybrid SACD Replication
Using technology support from Philips Electronics, Viva will install new SACD production lines at both plants “to meet the increasing demand for this new audio format”. The two new hybrid SACD lines for the Viva SACD Ltd. production facility in Hong Kong will be supplied by the German company Singulus using their recently introduced Spaceline SACD replication products (see the web link below for our recent story on the Singulus Spaceline SACD products).

Viva’s decision also recognizes the growth of the SACD format in the Hong Kong and Far East markets where 4 of the 5 major record label groups (Universal, Sony, BMG and Warner) are releasing SACD discs. Viva’s Hong Kong facility will be the first SACD production center in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan.

Comments from Viva and Philips
“This announcement underlines the growing support and success that the SACD format is gaining around the world”, said Jos Bruins, Marketing Director for SACD at Philips. “The fact that a major company like Viva Magnetics, one of the world’s leading replicators and the market leader in the Asia-Pacific region, is investing in a large-scale production facility underlines that it sees SACD as an exciting commercial opportunity with an expected rapid increase in demand from record labels.”

“With this initiative, Viva SACD Ltd. will be at the leading edge of the fast-increasing demand for Super Audio CDs. This revolutionary new ‘sandwich’ technology combines a high-density SACD layer and a normal CD layer in one disc, making the new SACD discs compatible with the more than 1 billion CD players in the market.”, said the Managing Director of the Viva Group Antony K.Y. Choi. “Up to now the market in the Asia-Pacific region has been supplied with products from Europe, but now record labels will have access to highly qualified regional production with the ability to ramp-up capacity immediately.”

“We are convinced that our new Hong Kong facility will meet the growing demand of top Chinese artists and record labels which are gearing up to release their best-selling titles on SACD. We have followed the increasing SACD activity of major labels like Universal, Sony Music, Warner and BMG. We have high expectations for the success of the new SACD format, which is underlined by the investment which the Viva group is making in this new SACD replication activity.”

A Look at Viva Magnetics and the Viva Group
Viva SACD Ltd. is part of the Hong Kong-based Viva Group. Since its formation in 1973 as an audiocassette manufacturer, Viva has grown into a world player and leader in the Asia-Pacific optical disc replication market.

Today the Viva Group handles complete production of CD-ROM, Audio CD, Video CD and DVD discs, including all mastering and replication stages, as well as printing and a wide range of packaging choices. With annual sales of approximately $300 million (US Dollars) and some 2,000 employees, Viva Group exports its products to markets around the world.