Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Semiconductor firms' revenue to rise 7.7%: ITRI

STEADY GROWTH Local IC firms are expected to see 6.2 percent sequential sales growth in the current quarter, with chipmakers accounting for the bulk

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Aided by recovering demand, the nation's semiconductor companies are expected to see a 7.7 percent annual growth in revenue this year, outpacing the 2.3 percent projected growth in global semiconductor sales, a local researcher said.

Local semiconductor firms are forecast to expand their revenue to NT$1.5 trillion (US$46.4 billion) from last year, said Jerry Peng (彭茂榮), an analyst with the Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院).

Revenues in the last quarter are projected to rise 6.2 percent sequentially to NT$422.3 billion, with about half of the amount coming from chipmakers, Peng said.

Local chipmakers -- including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's biggest contract chipmaker, and Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), the nation's biggest computer memory chipmaker -- are expected to post a 4.8 percent rise in quarterly revenues to NT$205.5 billion, Peng said.

"The fourth quarter will be a flat period for Taiwan's foundry companies as some customers have placed orders earlier than usual and some are taking a wait-and-see attitude because of concerns over the impact of the US subprime mortgage problem," Peng said in a report released on Thursday.

Peng forecast that domestic foundry companies would see 5.3 percent sequential growth in revenues in the current quarter, compared with the third quarter's strong sequential growth of 19.3 percent.

TSMC told investors last month that fourth-quarter revenues may rise by between 3.4 percent and 5.6 percent to NT$94 billion to NT$94 billion from the third quarter, supported by continued growth in demand for computer and mobile phone chips.

The company also said that prices would be stable.

Local computer memory chipmakers are expected to benefit as bigger rivals, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co and Hynix Semiconductor Inc, may lower production of computer memory chips to make room for the production of higher-priced consumer electronics memory chips, Peng said.

With the potential supply reduction, the "supply-demand situation may improve this quarter," he said.

Taiwan's major computer memory chip manufacturers posted second straight quarterly losses in the third quarter because of oversupply.

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