Win Semiconductors Corp (穩懋半導體), the world’s largest pure-play gallium arsenide foundry, on Friday said its board of directors had approved a plan to invest NT$10 billion (US$358.3 million) to build a fab at the Southern Taiwan Science Park’s (南部科學工業園) branch campus in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) over the next three years.
“To meet the needs of long-term operation and growth, the company planned to build the plant in Southern Taiwan Science Park located in Kaohsiung,” the Linkou District (林口), New Taipei City-based firm wrote in a regulatory filing.
“Excluding the payment for the construction of the first phase of the plant approved by the company’s board of directors on Dec. 25 in 2020, NT$10 billion is expected to be invested,” the company wrote. “The investment will be divided into several stages and [start] from 2021.”
Photo: Screen grab from the Win Semiconductors Corp Web site
Win Semiconductors said it would use its own capital or bank loans to fund the investment.
The new fab is expected to begin mass production in 2024, the company said.
Win Semiconductors provides foundry services for pure-play gallium arsenide components, such as power amplifier chips and switches used in communications devices.
A company revenue breakdown by applications showed that power amplifier chips for handsets accounted for 45 to 50 percent of its total sales in the first quarter, communications infrastructure-related orders accounted for 15 to 20 percent and Wi-Fi components 15 to 20 percent.
Win Semiconductors posted net profit of NT$1.15 billion for the January-to-March period, down 11.12 percent quarter-on-quarter and 27.61 percent year-on-year.
First-quarter earnings per share were NT$2.72, compared with NT$3.07 the previous quarter and NT$3.76 a year earlier.
The firm’s revenue declined 12 percent quarter-on-quarter and 1 percent year-on-year to NT$6.01 billion, while gross margin and operating margin fell to 33.5 percent and 19.9 percent respectively, which it attributed to changes in its product mix and a decline in its capacity utilization rate.
Win Semiconductors said that it expects sales this quarter to grow by a low single-digit percentage from last quarter, while gross margin is likely to be around the low-30s, a company conference call document showed.
“Given robust global handset power amplifier chip demand, we expect cellular products to be the main growth driver for the second quarter of 2021,” Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said in a note last week.
However, the company would face headwinds in the infrastructure product segment this year as clients continue to digest their inventories, Yuanta said.
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