Corsair, the pirate-themed RGB manufacturer from California, predicts a 'surge' of new PCs will be built as the GPU market returns to normality. This act of technomancy comes as the firm's gamer and creator peripherals segment increased its revenue 23.7% year-on-year to contribute to a 23.4% increase in net revenue, according to figures released as part of its first-quarter 2022 financial results.
"We expect that with GPU and CPU products becoming available and reasonably priced, we will see a surge of self-built gaming PC activity in 2H22 and 2023," said Corsair CEO Andy Paul in a statement that accompanied the revenue figures.
Overall net revenue for the company, which also owns Elgato and Origin PC, was at $80.7 million for the quarter, in line with predictions but representing a decrease of 28.1% compared to the same period of 2021. It does, however, still mean an increase of 23.4% compared to the pre-pandemic days of Q1 2020. Businesswire notes that the first quarter of 2021 was notable for pent-up demand and for stimulus checks being in the hands of many Americans.
Adjusted income, however, was down 83.4% to $13.3 million compared to $80.4 million in the first quarter of 2021.
While pinning much of the blame for the revenue drop on tricky global trading conditions, Corsair execs took the opportunity to prophesy that the tough times may be easing somewhat. Michael G Potter, Chief Financial Officer of Corsair, said: “We expect that Q1 2022 was the peak of pandemic-related high freight cost and promotion headwinds, and that gross margins will improve in the second half of the year.”
His confidence was echoed by the CEO, who added: “While we faced headwinds in Q1, with inflation, the continued Russia and Ukraine conflict, and high freight costs, we continue to see positive underlying growth trends in the gaming hardware sector. During Q1, GPU cards, which are the most expensive item in a gaming PC, were still at a high premium, roughly 150% of MSRP, and even with this premium we saw gaming PC build activity slightly higher than pre-pandemic and pre-GPU shortage levels.” As we reported, some price stabilization has already been seen in the GPU market as demand wanes.
Paul later pointed out, “We grew 77% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2022, and [...] think that the peripheral market will continue to drive 20% to 25% annual growth,” and voiced an expectation that GPU cards would return to MSRP, or slightly under for discounted models, in the near future.