MUNICH -- Infineon Technologies AG here reported net earnings of $68 million in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $782 million the previous fiscal year. Sales rose 33% for the year to $4.2 billion, compared with $3.15 billion the previous year.
The report, released today in Munich, marked the first time the former semiconductor subsidiary of Siemens AG reported its net earnings, in preparation for its initial public offering, which is slated for next March.
President and CEO Ulrich Schumacher said the strongest sales growth was -- ironically -- in memory chips, which were up 86%. Severe losses in the memory sector the previous year fueled the impetus to spin off the Siemens chip unit. Security and chip-card IC sales were up 33%, while wireless communication chips were up 21% and multimedia chips were up 19%.
Schumacher said capital expenditures for the chip company in 1999 were $680 million, down from $755 million the previous year. He didn't disclose what capital spending Infineon was planning in the current fiscal year.
Infineon officials in Munich said the next fab will be a 300-mm wafer plant, but no decisions has been made about where it would be located or when it will be built. Infineon would like to have a partner for the fab to share the large capital cost.
R&D spending last fiscal year was $732 million, or 17.4% of sales. This was up from $631 million in fiscal 1998. Infineon reported a gross margin of 30% in its last fiscal year, double the 14% margin for the year earlier.