Thu, Apr 30, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Siliconware Precision bounces back into profit

BACK IN THE BLACK After reporting a loss of NT$1.03 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, the firm’s first quarter was boosted by China’s rural subsidy scheme

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Siliconware Precision Industries Co (SPIL, 矽品精密), the world’s second-largest chip packaging and testing company, yesterday posted first-quarter net income of NT$262 million (US$7.78 million), or NT$0.08 a share, down 85.1 percent from NT$1.75 billion, or NT$0.56 a share, a year earlier.

The company posted a net loss of NT$1.03 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

SPIL’s first-quarter results came on the same day as those of its bigger rival Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), which reported a net loss for the quarter of NT$1.57 billion or a NT$0.3 loss per share. The Kaohsiung-based ASE made NT$2.34 billion in profit a year earlier and a net loss of NT$800 million in the fourth quarter of last year. First-quarter revenue totaled NT$13.4 billion, down 46 percent year-on-year and down 27 percent sequentially, ASE said.

NO GUIDANCE

“This year, the company will not provide financial guidance for the second quarter because the global economy remains unstable and visibility is still limited,” SPIL chairman Bough Lin (林文伯), told an investors’ conference.

Revenues declined to NT$9.2 billion, down 38.4 percent from NT$14.93 billion a year ago, he said.

First-quarter revenues fell 26.1 percent from NT$12.45 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, which was better than market expectations for a 35 percent decline, Lin said.

“First-quarter revenues declined less than expected because of China’s subsidy scheme for home appliance purchases in rural areas and the growing popularity of non-branded mobile phones,” Lin said.

On the outlook for the semiconductor industry, Lin said the growth in integrated circuit [IC] demand in China meant that revenues were growing month by month, and that demand this month and next month would be very strong.

Lin said he expected the semiconductor industry to go back into a normal seasonal inventory cycle in the second quarter and maintain steady volume growth.

“This [volume growth] is very beneficial to the IC packaging and testing industry. I believe this will continue until the second half of this year and even into 2010,” Lin said.

But the next stage of growth in IC demand will have to wait until the US and European markets recover, he added.

EXPENDITURE UNCHANGED

The Taichung-based company will leave its capital expenditure budget for this year unchanged at NT$4 billion, which will be used mainly in the second and third quarters, Lin said.

The company’s headcount fell by 900 to 13,600 in the first quarter, compared to 14,500 in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the company has cancelled the practice of asking employees to take unpaid leave since the beginning of this quarter, Lin said.

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