Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

AGENCIES

Taiwan-China trade up 34.8%

Trade between Taiwan and China in the 11 months to November rose 34.8 percent to US$56.19 billion on the back of China's rapid economic expansion, the Board of Foreign Trade said yesterday.

This figure accounted for 18.1 percent of Taiwan's total external trade during the 11-month period, compared with 17.1 percent a year earlier, it said.

"Although the mainland started to implement its `macro-controls' from April 2004, its exports continued to pick up, prompting strong demand for Taiwan-made products," the board said in a statement.

Looking ahead, the board expected China-bound shipments to slow in the coming year, given the relatively high basis for comparison.

China is Taiwan's largest single export market.

For the 11-month period, Taiwan saw a trade surplus with China of US$26.27 billion, up 18.6 percent from a year earlier. Exports to China rose 29.2 percent to US$41.23 billion, while imports from the mainland were up 53.1 percent at US$14.96 billion.

Exports to China accounted for 25.9 percent of Taiwan's total exports in the 11-month period, compared with 24.5 percent a year earlier.

Semiconductor sales up

Worldwide semiconductor sales rose 28 percent last year, helped by higher demand for chips used in mobile phones and personal computer-related products, according to data from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics.

In December, global chip sales fell 3.5 percent from the previous month to US$18.4 billion, the Brussels-based European Semiconductor Industry Association said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

AU Optronics posts a loss

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and televisions, posted its first loss in two years in the fourth quarter after a glut drove prices down.

The company had an unaudited loss of NT$2.23 billion (US$70 million), compared with net income of NT$7.6 billion a year earlier.

Unaudited 2004 net income was NT$27.96 billion, AU Optronics said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Rival Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) posted unaudited 2004 net income of NT$17.2 billion ($541 million).

The figure lagged the company's own forecast of NT$18.4 billion, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange yesterday.

China Airlines' income doubles

China Airlines (華航), Taiwan's largest air carrier, said its unaudited net income last year more than doubled as more people flew abroad for business and leisure, beating its October forecast by about 2 percent.

China Airlines' profit rose to NT$4.14 billion (US$130 million) from NT$1.78 in 2003, with earnings per share at NT$1.37 last year.

MediaTek's profit drops 45%

MediaTek Inc (聯發科技), the world's largest maker of chips for DVD players, had a 45 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit after it cut prices to keep pace with rivals.

Net income fell to NT$2.7 billion (US$85 million) from NT$4.9 billion a year earlier. Sales, announced earlier, fell 12 percent to NT$9.6 billion.

MediaTek, which will brief investors on Feb. 3, is counting on new products such as chips for DVD recorders and mobile phones to help lift profit.

MediaTek posted unaudited net income of NT$14.3 billion last year, short of the company's forecast of N$15.9 billion, according to a statement to the stock exchange.

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