SAN JOSE, Calif.Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp. reported first quarter sales of NT$26.72 billion ($849 million), up 147 percent compared with the year ago quarter, but down 4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.
UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) said its net income for the first quarter was NT$3.48 billion ($110 million), up 143 percent compared with the year ago quarter.
"Shipment volume for the first quarter of 2010 achieved a record high of 1,033 thousand 8-inch equivalent wafers, and capacity utilization rose to 88 percent," said Shih-Wei Sun, UMC's CEO, in a statement. "We continued to experience robust demand, with average selling price falling slightly compared to the previous quarter only because we focused more on supporting our customers' short-term product mix to strengthen our long-term partnerships."
Sun said UMC continued to work with customers to migrate products and technologies in alignment with the high-end process capacity that the company expects to have more readily available in the second quarter and beyond. Sun said the company expects further growth going forward.
UMC said it expects to increase its 65- and 55-nanometer capacity at its Fab12i in Singapore beginning in the second quarter.
"Our development of 28nm gate-last high-k/metal-gate technology has been progressing well, with plans to achieve IP pilot capabilities at the end of 2010," Sun said. He added that the company began working with customers on planning and initial development of 20-nm technology since early this year.
UMC's first quarter capacity utilization reached 88 percent in the first quarter, up from 86 percent in fourth quarter of 2009 and up from 30 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the company said.
Blended average selling price decreased in U.S. dollar terms during the first quater, mainly due to product mix shift to larger geometry, UMC said.
For the second quarter, UMC said it expects its capacity utilization rate to reach the high 90 percent range. The company said it expects wafer shipment growth in the high single-digit percentage range. Revenue from 65-nm and below wafers is expected to grow to the high 20 percent range in the second quarter, up from 18 percent in the first quarter, the company said.
UMC plans to spend between $1.5 billion and $2 billion on capital expenditures in 2010, the company said.