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ASE Group reports record-high '13 revenues

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) yesterday reported stellar results for last year, recording record-high revenues of NT$219.862 billion, up 13.35 percent year-on-year.

In December of last year, ASE and its subsidiaries generated revenues of NT$21.428 billion, down 2.5 percent month-on-month while improving 12.8 percent year-on-year.

According to foreign institutional investors, prospects for the company have been stellar since its record-high revenues recorded last November. Foreign institutional investors expect operating results for the company to continue increasing, on account of growing demand for its system in a package (SiP) and electronic manufacturing service (EMS) for Wi-Fi modules.

Throughout December of last year, the revenues derived from the company's integrated circuit (IC) assembly, testing and materials supply reached NT$12.355 billion, down 0.3 percent from the previous month, but improved 14.6 percent compared to the NT$10.783 billion benchmark recorded a year ago.

Over the fourth quarter of 2013, ASE and its subsidiaries generated revenues of NT$64.164 billion, up 13.1 percent quarter-on-quarter. Of which, revenues derived from IC assembly and testing reached NT$37.9 billion, up 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Foreign institutional investors stated that the company's fourth-quarter results vastly exceeded their expectations, adding that ASE had benefited tremendously from its position as one of Apple's largest modules suppliers for iPhones and iPads. Institutional investors are also expecting shipping volume in fingerprint identification chips to continue growing this year.

Impacts of a local regulator's order to shut down the company's K7 semiconductor fabrication plant in Kaohsiung for illegal dumping is expected to be minimal in the first quarter of this year, said foreign institutional investors, adding the sector is also influenced by the conventional low season in the early months of the year.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that ASE is poised to collaborate with Micron Technology Inc. in building a DRAM memory testing facility in Xi'an province (西安), mainland China. ASE, however, denied the report, while Micron confirmed that it is currently seeking partnership candidates to expand production capacity in Xi'an, but declined to supply further details. Industry observers stated that Micron intends to secure a stable partner capable of providing large-scale IC testing capacities. If an agreement between Micron and ASE is reached, the entire DRAM supply chain may be significantly disrupted, with ASE taking the lion's share of Micron's testing needs.

According to Micron, the Xi'an facility expansion is expected to take place in the latter half of this year.

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