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TSMC consolidated sales up 8.4 percent in January, UMC up 1.58 percent

TAIPEI -- Both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.(TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), Taiwan's top two contract chip makers, reported growth in consolidated sales in January.

TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, posted consolidated sales of NT$51.43 billion (US$1.7 billion) in January, up 8.4 percent from the year-earlier level and an increase of 3.5 percent from December, the company said.

Market analysts, however, predicted that sales of TSMC could drop in February due to fewer working days as a result of the Lunar New Year holiday.

According to TSMC's own forecast, the company's consolidated sales in the first quarter might decline to between NT$136 billion and NT$138 billion, down 5-7 percent from the previous quarter, owing to the low season effect.

Benefiting from continued growth in the mobile device market, however, sales of TSMC are expected to continue in two-digit growth, to reach a new high this year.

In 2013, the company's consolidated sales totaled NT$597.02 billion, up 17.8 percent from 2012, with net profit hitting a record high of NT$188.15 billion.

UMC, meanwhile, said its consolidated sales for January increased 1.58 percent month-on-month to NT$10.06 billion, ending a five-month decline.

The company predicted that its first-quarter shipments will record minor growth, although the average selling price could drop 4 percent due to a low capacity utilization rate that is expected to range between 77 percent and 79 percent.

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