HSINCHU, Taiwan Confirming a generally-held belief, several of Taiwan's leading IC companies released sales figures on Friday (April 7) that showed the industry had completed a record-setting first quarter.
Three of Taiwan's top IC companies reported triple-digit percentage increases in year-to-year sales. Via Technologies Inc. reported sales for the quarter ended in March 2000 where 348 percent above those for March of 1999. "Via's results are impressive," said a securities analyst here. "Any company in the world would be happy with that kind of growth."
Larger, more established IC makers in Taiwan also posted triple-digit sales growth. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) posted a record 126 percent year-to-year sales growth for the first quarter of this year, when sales reached $943 million.
United Microelectronics Corp . (UMC) posted $643 million in first-quarter sales, and increase of 190 percent over the first quarter of 1999.
Each of the three companies acquired other semiconductor operations over the past year. In addition, the securities analyst offered a caveat to the reported figures. "Both TSMC and UMC have changed how they account for the contributions of their affiliates," he said. "We won't know the true percentage rises until we get the quarterly report and then try and figure out how much the addition of the affiliates revenue affected the overall figures."
Nevertheless, Taiwan's IC industry looks to remain robust. "TSMC will take a small dip in April," said the analyst. "That's when they will close their fabs down for a couple of days for their annual maintenance. Overall, both companies should stay strong through at least the second and third quarters of this year."