SAN FRANCISCOSilicon foundry United Microelectronics Corp. Wednesday (April 29) reported that first quarter sales declined 41.5 percent sequentially as capacity utilization fell to 30 percent, but said recent orders point to strong second quarter demand.
Shih-Wei Sun, CEO of UMC, said through a statement that the orders indicated that demand bottomed out in the first quarter. "UMC expects Q2 revenues to grow significantly with loss turning to profit," he said.
UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) reported a net loss of NT$8.16 billion ($240 million) on revenue of NT$10.84 billion (US$319 million)for the first quarter.
Revenue decreased from NT$18.54 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 and was down 54.8 percent year-over-year from NT$24 billion in the first quarter of 2008, the company said. UMC narrowed its net loss for the quarter by 65.3 percent compared to NT$23.51 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company reported a small profit in the year-ago quarter.
UMC's capacity utilization rate slipped to 30 percent in the first quarter from 48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Wafer shipments dropped 32.3 percent sequentially to 384 thousand, a decrease from 567 thousand 8-inch equivalent wafers in the previous quarter.
The company's capacity for the first quarter remained the same as the fourth quarter of 2008, roughly 1.15 million 8-inch equivalent wafers. The total estimated installed capacity in the second quarter also remains unchanged, although 65-nm capacity is increasing due to internal capacity conversion and 8-inch wafer capacity moving to more advanced nodes, UMC said.
UMC's first quarter blended average selling price decreased by 10 percent in U.S. dollar terms due to a larger portion of the process technology mix coming from older process generations as well as short-term volume discounts to customers, the company said.