Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 15 News List

GlobalWafers’ Q3 profit up 346% on solid demand

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

GlobalWafers Corp (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest semiconductor wafer supplier, on Tuesday posted net profit of NT$1.65 billion (US$54.7 million) for last quarter, up 346 percent from NT$370 million during the same period last year, fueled by robust demand for automotive electronics, memory and 3D NAND, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Last quarter’s figure marked a new record high and jumped 27.8 percent from NT$1.29 billion the prior quarter, GlobalWafers said in a statement.

That brought the company’s net profit in the first three quarters of the year to NT$3.29 billion, compared with NT$1.11 billion in the same period last year, while earnings per share also surged to NT$8.06 from NT$5.6.

Revenue in the first three quarters grew 186 percent to NT$33.77 billion, from NT$11.82 billion, buoyed by the firm’s acquisition of NASDAQ-listed SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd in December last year.

GlobalWafers said a lack of supply of 8-inch and 12-inch wafers in the market helped boost its operating profit to NT$4.88 billion in the first nine months.

The company expects the growth momentum to extend into the next two years, driven by growing silicon wafer demand from Chinese chipmakers, which are rapidly introducing new production lines.

GlobalWafers, which produces 3-inch to 12-inch silicon wafers, said that all of its production lines would be fully utilized until 2019.

“The company expects its profit to strengthen further and surpass the level [it hit last quarter],” it said.

SILICON DEMAND

Separately, global silicon wafer shipments by surface area increased slightly last quarter from the previous quarter, hitting a new record, the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which are vital components of virtually all electronic goods and computers.

According to SEMI SMG’s analysis, total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,997 million square inches last quarter, up 0.64 percent from the prior quarter and an increase of 9.78 percent from a year ago.

SUBDUED PRICES

“Global silicon wafer shipment volumes surpassed record levels for the sixth quarter in a row, resulting in a new historical high,” said SEMI SMG chairman Lee Chung-wei (李崇偉), who also serves as a vice president of GlobalWafers.

“While silicon demand is strong, silicon pricing remains well below pre-downturn levels,” Lee said.

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