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Chipmaker UMC reports 373% rise in income

United Microelectronics (UMC), the world's second-largest contract chip maker, reported that its second-quarter net income rose...

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United Microelectronics (UMC), the world's second-largest contract chip maker, reported that its second-quarter net income rose 372.7% compared with the same period last year.

UMC's second-quarter net income totalled £205m, up sharply from net income of £43m during the second quarter of 2003. Net sales during the second quarter totalled £471m, up 34.2% from £350m during the same period last year.

Compared with the first quarter, UMC's net income rose 84.2% while net sales rose 15.2%, the company said. UMC reported first-quarter net income of £111m on net sales of £408m.

UMC's second-quarter results were boosted by a sharp increase in net non-operating income, largely due to the sale of shares in AU Optronics, which produces TFT-LCD (thin-film transistor liquid crystal display) panels.

UMC reported net non-operating income of £82m during the second quarter, compared with non-operating income of £26m during the first quarter and £9.8m during the second quarter of 2003.

UMC also reported a sharp increase in operating income for the second quarter, up 206% to £122m from £40m during the same period last year.

Higher wafer shipments and a higher average selling price (ASP) during the second quarter helped spur UMC's profits higher as its capacity utilisation rate hit 99%, the company said. ASP increased 6% during the second quarter while wafer shipments rose by 9.7%.

Looking ahead, UMC expects wafer shipments to grow by up to 16% during the third quarter while ASP rises by as much as 4%. UMC expects to continue running at close to its maximum production capacity during the third quarter even as it expands its total capacity by 19%.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service

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