LONDON Ė Foundry sales at TSMC and UMC climbed strongly in the third quarter well ahead of their sales in the same period a year before. However, the picture was mixed with September sales showing slight signs of weakness.
The two foundries are doing better than the overall semiconductor market, which is not expected to show growth in 2012 but sales slipped in September which may be a sign of a foundry slowdown to come. TSMC's CEO and chairman Morris Chang has previously predicted a slow down due to inventory correction in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
For now UMC and TSMC are following similar expansive trends but with TSMC leading both in terms of absolute size and by the size of the gains it makes both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. While September sales at both firms declined sequentially, the third quarter showed robust sequential and annual growth for both companies.
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TSMC announced unconsolidated net sales for September 2012 of NT$42.82 billion (about $1.46 billion), a decrease of 12.4 percent over August 2012 and an increase of 30.3 percent over September 2011. On a consolidated basis net sales for September 2012 were approximately NT$43.35 billion (about $1.48 billion), a decrease of 12.4 percent over August 2012 and an increase of 29.8 percent over September 2011.
Meanwhile UMC has announced monthly sales revenue for September of NT$9.11 billion (about $311 million) up 11.5 percent over the same month in 2011 but down 7.0 percent from August 2012.
On a quarterly basis TSMC 3Q12 consolidated revenues hit a record high of NT$141.38 billion (about $4.82 billion). This was 10.4 percent ahead of the 2Q12 revenues and 32.8 percent of 3Q11 revenues. TSMC's c0nsolidated revenues for January through September 2012 totaled NT$374.94 billion, an increase of 16.3 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
UMC's third quarter unconsolidated sales were NT$28.52 billion (about $973 million) up 13.3 percent on the 2Q11 and up 3.3 percent sequentially. UMC's sales for the first nine months of 2012 are $79.91 billion still down on the equivalent period in 2011, by 1.9 percent.
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