Hynix Semiconductor Inc yesterday announced strong fourth quarter results, thanks to its improved productivity and less-than-expected falls in memory chip prices.
The world's second-largest memory chip maker said its fourth-quarter operating profit increased 6 percent to 522 billion won (US$534 million) from the previous quarter, beating market expectations of some 420 billion won.
Fourth quarter net profit also increased 44 percent from the previous quarter to 764 billion won.
"The fourth-quarter operating profit margin came to 30 percent," Hynix Semiconductor said in a statement.
The company fell just short of rival Samsung Electronics Co's 32-percent operating profit margin in its semiconductor operation.
Sales came to 1.765 trillion won, up 10 percent from the third quarter.
For all of last year, sales amounted to 5.9 trillion won, down 3 percent from 2004. Operating profit came to 1.6 trillion won, down 21 percent and net profit totaled 1.85 trillion won, up 7 percent.
Hynix' solid performance was in sharp contrast with its Taiwanese and Japanese competitors which recently posted weak results.
"Compared to worsened financial results from some of our competitors during the same period, we have recorded a relatively high operating profit margin of 30 percent," the company said in a statement.
Hynix attributed the results to its "competitive cost structure and the successful expansion" of its NAND flash business.