Thu, Jul 30, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Infineon happier as net loss falls

AP , FRANKFURT, GERMANY

The German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG reported yesterday that its net loss narrowed 94 percent in its fiscal third quarter as the effects of a broad restructuring program began to pay dividends.

The Neubiberg-based company said its loss for the April-June period, its fiscal third quarter, was 23 million euros (US$33 million) compared with 379 million euros a year earlier.

Revenue fell 18 percent to 845 million euros from just more than 1 billion euros last year.

However, compared with the previous quarter, revenue jumped 13 percent from 747 million euros at the end of March.

“Thanks to higher sales, higher factory loading and the cost savings from our cost-reduction program, we improved our operational performance considerably during the third quarter compared to the previous quarter,” Infineon chief executive Peter Bauer said in a statement.

The company, which had reported preliminary earnings on July 16, said it expected sales to increase in the fourth quarter, too.

Earlier this month, Infineon outlined plans to streamline the company and raise capital.

Infineon aims to raise 725 million euros in cash by issuing 337 million new shares.

Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to acquire about 326 million of the shares, which will be issued at a subscription price of 2.15 euros.

The issuance began on Monday last week and will run through next month.

New York-based Apollo is expected to hold a minimum of 15 percent of Infineon’s share capital after the rights issue and up to a maximum of 30 percent minus one share.

It will also gain representation on Infineon’s supervisory board, the German equivalent to a US board of directors.

Infineon has said it plans to use the money for purposes including paying down debt.

Earlier this month, Infineon announced it would sell its wireline communications unit to an affiliate of US investor Golden Gate Capital in a 250 million euro (US$349 million) deal in order to focus on its core semiconductor business.

Infineon has said the sale of the unit — whose products are used to offer Voice over Internet Protocol services and fast Internet connections — “will significantly improve Infineon’s financial situation.”

The company is also working to make its majority stake in Qimonda, another German computer chipmaker, more profitable or divest it.

Qimonda began insolvency proceedings in January.

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