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TSMC, UMC sales fall amid semiconductor slump

TAIPEI--Both industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,台積電) and its smaller rival United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC,聯電) reported falling sales in November on Tuesday, with market analysts attributing the drop to a seasonal slow in the global semiconductor business.

TSMC, the world's largest contract chip-maker, said it posted NT$44.33 billion (US$1.50 billion) in consolidated sales for November, down 14.4 percent from October, but up 0.1 percent from a year earlier.

The month marked the lowest sales figures since March, when revenue was NT44.13 billion. November also represented a slowdown for what had been strong year-on-year growth.

In the first 10 months of this year, TSMC's consolidated sales totaled NT$547.34 billion, up 16.6 percent from a year earlier.

UMC showed a similar trend, posting NT$10.35 billion in sales for November to represent a sequential drop of 1.17 percent but an annual increase of 2.53 percent.

The company has not seen sales that low since April, when consolidated sales totaled NT$10.28 billion.

The 14.4 percent month-on-month fall suffered by TSMC was worse than the 10 percent analysts had predicted. Slow seasonal affects were compounded by a move by Qualcomm Inc., one of TSMC's major customers, to shift orders to other chip-makers.

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