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Taiwan Semiconductor's profit up 15% in Q2

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co said on Wednesday its second quarter net profit rose 15.2 per cent year-on-year to a record NT$59.7 billion ($1.99 billion), due to robust demand for chips used in smartphones, tablets and computers.

TAIPEI: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co said on Wednesday its second quarter net profit rose 15.2 per cent year-on-year to a record NT$59.7 billion ($1.99 billion), due to robust demand for chips used in smartphones, tablets and computers.

TSMC, the world's biggest contract microchip maker by revenue, said the profit in the three months to June marked a rise of 24.7 per cent over the previous quarter.

Revenue rose 17.4 per cent year-on-year to a high of NT$183 billion, compared with the guidance range of NT$180-NT$183 billion, it said.

"In the second quarter, we saw strength of demand for our wafers (slices of semiconductor material) across all segments, while our 28-nanometre technology business grew more than 30 per cent from the previous quarter to account for 37 per cent of our total wafer sales," TSMC chief financial officer Lora Ho said at an earnings conference.

The 28-nanometre technology was until recently the most advanced the company used to make chips.

Chips for communications, such as smartphones, accounted for 54 per cent of the company's revenue in the second-quarter, up 19 per cent from the previous quarter.

Those for computers accounted for 11 per cent, up 14 per cent while those for consumer electronics surged 31 per cent to account for 12 per cent of revenue.

With TSMC now moving towards more advanced 20-nanometre technology, the company expected to further post records in profit and revenue.

While the firm expects "strong demand" for its wafers to continue, Ho said volume shipments had begun of the new 20-nanometre technology, which is expected to make up around 10 per cent of wafer revenue in the third quarter.

"In the past three years, 28-nanometre technology was the driver of our growth, and 20- and 16-nanometre technologies will continue to drive our growth in the next three years," TSMC Chairman Morris Chang said.

Shipments of chips using 20-nanometre technology are expected to account for 20 per cent of the company's fourth-quarter revenue, he forecast.

The company is also developing 10-nanometre technology, which enables chips to operate 25 per cent faster and with 45 per cent less power compared with chips made using 16-nanometre technology, he said.

Revenue is expected to stand between NT$206 billion and NT$209 billion for the third quarter, with an operating profit margin of between 38.5 per cent and 40.5 per cent.

Local media have said TSMC is expected to get a boost from supplying the "A8" chips to be used in Apple's next iPhone starting in the second or third quarter. TSMC has declined to comment on the reports.

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