Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Global Unichip riding on cryptocurrency demand

CAUTION AHEAD:Despite better revenue prospects for cryptocurrency chips, the company said it was sticking to its forecasts due to concern over the US-China trade row

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Global Unichip Corp (創意電子), which designs application-specific ICs (ASICs), yesterday said that it expects revenue to grow by a double-digit percentage sequentially this quarter, thanks to a rebound in demand for advanced chips for cryptocurrency mining.

The company forecast that revenue contribution from cryptocurrency mining ASICs would climb to between 20 and 23 percent this year, from the 15 percent it estimated earlier this year.

“The recovery [in demand] has surpassed our expectations,” Global Unichip president Ken Chen (陳超乾) told investors.

Two months ago, the company had said that volatile cryptocurrency valuations posed a risk to its sales growth momentum this year.

Despite the better prospects for cryptocurrency mining chips, the Hsinchu-based company retained its full-year revenue growth target of between 15 and 20 percent, as it has begun to feel the pinch of the escalating trade dispute between the US and China.

“Some customers rescheduled their projects amid concern over the trade war between the US and China. That will weaken our revenue growth strength this year,” Chen said.

Global Unichip last year made a record-high revenue of NT$12.16 billion (US$396 million), with 72 percent coming from its ASIC business and 22 percent from non-recurring engineering (NRE) services.

This year, revenue from NRE services is expected to enjoy a brisk growth rate of 50 percent annually due to fast-growing demand for 16-nanometer and the most advanced 7-nanometer chips for 5G devices, artificial intelligence devices and supercomputers, he said.

The firm expects 7-nanometer and 16-nanometer chips to account for more than 50 percent of its overall revenue from NRE services this year.

The company will continue to upgrade its process technology to 5 nanometers and 3 nanometers, following in the footsteps of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which owns a 35 percent stake in Global Unichip.

Global Unichip said that net profit in the second quarter surged 29 percent to NT$224 million, from NT$174 million in the same quarter last year. That translated into earnings per share of NT$1.68, up from NT$1.29 a year earlier.

On a quarterly basis, net profit rose 8.21 percent from NT$207 million, or NT$1.54 per share.

Gross margin improved to 31 percent last quarter from 26.7 percent in the prior year, but declined from 33.8 percent in the first quarter.

Shares of Global Unichip sank 3.66 percent to NT$342 in Taipei trading yesterday, underperforming the broader market, which rose 0.76 percent.

This story has been viewed 3218 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top