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IC packaging, testing firms may see sales growth in September

TAIPEI--Taiwan's providers of integrated circuit packaging and testing services are expected to report mild sales growth in September due to growing demand for chips used in handheld devices, market analysts said Saturday.

For the third quarter, these IC packaging and testing companies are expected to post a single-digit sequential growth in their revenue as consumers continue to buy communications products in the market, they said.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), the world's largest IC packaging and testing services provider, is expected to report NT$13 billion (US$439 million) in IC packaging and testing operations for September, up about 3 percent from a month earlier

Analysts said ASE, which accounts for about 30 percent of total sales in the world's IC packaging and testing business, is expected to achieve its target and post a 1 percent to 5 percent sequential sales increase in its operations for the July-September period.

ASE raised about NT$15 billion in funds from overseas convertible bonds and new share sales in August and September for future business expansion as the market has been upbeat about its long-term development.

Local media said the IC packaging and testing firm will spend NT$92.7 billion over the next five years to set up a production base in northern Taiwan.

In response to the media reports, ASE said it is committed to investing heavily in Taiwan in the long run to sharpen its high-end technology process, but the investment amount and time frame are subject to changes based on market conditions.

For its part, Siliconware Precision Industries Co., a smaller rival of ASE, is expected to continue its sales growth momentum in September after it posted record high sales at NT$6.51 billion in August, up from NT$6.13 billion seen in July.

Market analysts said Siliconware could see its consolidated sales for the third quarter grow 5 percent to 7 percent from the second quarter's NT$17.6 billion to reach a new quarterly high. Meanwhile, consolidated sales of Powertech Technology Inc., which provides memory IC packaging and testing services, for September are expected to stay steady from August's NT$3.14 billion, analysts said.

Powertech's third quarter consolidated sales are expected to range between NT$9.4 billion and NT$9.5 billion, little changed from the NT$9.45 billion recorded in the second quarter.

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