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TSMC sees profits down, but growth ahead

TSMC sees profits down, but growth ahead

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, has reported mixed results for the fourth quarter of 2002. The company's sales increased substantially compared to the same period one year ago but profits were down.

TSMC's fourth-quarter Net sales hit $2.02 billion, up 24.2 per cent compared to the $1.62 billion in Net sales reported by the company for the same period in 2001. Net income for the fourth quarter, however, was down 43.4 per cent to $125 million from NT$221.12 million a year earlier.

The drop in net income was the result of increased expenditures on research and development and investment losses, TSMC said.

Looking ahead, TSMC expected to outpace projected semiconductor industry revenue growth of 8 per cent in 2003. However, business was expected to remain slow during the first quarter of 2003, a selling period that was traditionally quiet, TSMC said.

Average selling prices would decline during the first quarter by about 7 per cent due to a general decline in prices and expected flat demand for chips produced using advanced process technologies at 180 nanometers and below, the company said. The figure of 180 nanometers referred to the size of the smallest feature that could be created on a chip. Growth in demand for chips produced by advanced process technologies was expected to resume from the second quarter.

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