Chartered sees light at end of semiconductor tunnel

Despite reporting a 76% drop in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2001, Chartered Semiconductor believes that the semiconductor...

Despite reporting a 76% drop in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2001, Chartered Semiconductor believes that the semiconductor market is beginning to stabilise.

The company posted revenues of $76.1m (£54m) for the quarter ended 31 December 2001, compared to $318.7m for the same period in 2000. Full year revenues came in at $462.7m (£328.7m) - a 59.2% drop from the 2000 figure of $1.13bn.

Chartered posted a fourth-quarter loss of $127.2m (£90.3m) compared to a $77.4m profit a year earlier. Losses for the year amounted to $384m (£272m) compared to a profit of $244.8m in 2000.

Chartered's main business focus is on providing semiconductors for communications systems. This sector was hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn, the company said. Fourth-quarter capacity utilisation was down to 25%, compared to 94% a year ago.

However, Chartered chief executive and president Barry Waite said that the fourth quarter had shown growing signs of stabilisation in the industry. Waite said he expected 2002 to be a year of market recovery after 2001, which he described as the most challenging year in the history of the semiconductor industry.

Chartered ranks third in size behind the world's two biggest contract chip makers, Taiwan Semiconductor and United Microelectronics.

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