Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that the company would raise its employees’ salaries next year as it is outperforming its rivals in the global IC business this year.
At TSMC’s annual sports day, TSMC chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) told employees that although the global semiconductor sector has been suffering a slowdown due to weakening demand, TSMC remained profitable and planned to award its employees higher bonuses.
Despite the difficulties faced by the IC industry, Chang said that his company would not cut its workforce, but would raise salaries for its employees in April next year on the back of its improved bottom line.
In addition, there was no need for TSMC to send employees on unpaid leave, Chang said.
Last month, TSMC cut its growth forecast for the world’s semiconductor market for this year to zero from an earlier estimate of a 3 percent year-on-year increase.
However, Chang said the company is expected to enjoy a more than 10 percent year-on-year increase in sales and earnings this year. He said that TSMC’s fundamentals are sound, so the firm can weather a slowdown in the global IC business and continue to grow.
In the first nine months of this year, TSMC posted NT$639.98 billion (US$19.55 billion) in consolidated sales, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier, while net profit grew 27.1 percent year-on-year to NT$233.74 billion with earnings per share at NT$9.01, up from NT$7.09 recorded over the same period last year.
Chang said the global IC market would rebound in the first quarter of next year after inventory adjustments are completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, Chang said that TSMC is open to the idea of Chinese investors taking a stake in the Taiwanese chipmaker. He made the comments at a time when China’s high-tech conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd (清華紫光) has expressed interest in buying into Taiwan’s IC business.
Currently, the government allows Chinese investors to take a non-controlling stake in a local contract IC firm and IC packaging and testing service suppliers, but still forbids Chinese companies from owning a stake in a Taiwanese IC designer.
Tsinghua Unigroup has signed an agreement to buy a 25 percent stake in Taiwan-based IC packaging and testing services firm Powertech Technology Inc (力成). The deal still needs regulatory approval in Taiwan before it can proceed.
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