Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.(TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, reported that its net income for 2004 rose 95 per cent to $US2.9 billion, setting a new record for the company.
"It was a very good year for TSMC," vice-president and chief financial officer, Lora Ho, said, speaking to investors at a conference in Taipei. Ho's remarks were carried live by a webcast of the conference.
TSMC earned revenue of $NT256 billion for the year ended December 31, 2004, an increase of 27 per cent compared to 2003 and another record for the company, it said in a statement.
The company's fourth-quarter results declined somewhat from the third quarter, but the figures still showed a healthy gain over the same period last year.
Fourth-quarter revenue reached $NT63.9 billion, a decline of 8 per cent compared with its third-quarter results, TSMC said. Fourth-quarter net income was $NT22.2 billion, a decline of 21 per cent from the previous quarter. Compared with the same period last year, TSMC's fourth-quarter net income and revenue rose 11 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively, it said.
Ho attributed the decline in revenue between the third and fourth quarters to customers selling off their existing product inventories.
Looking ahead, TSMC plans to spend between $US2.5 billion and $US2.7 billion on capital expenditures (capex), the company's chairman and CEO, Morris Chnag, said. TSMC spent $US2.4 billion on capex in 2004, he said.
"At $US2.6 billion, our capex will be 32 per cent of our anticipated revenue [for 2005], roughly," Chang said. This would set a record for the company. Previously, the most that TSMC has spent on capex was $US2.5 billion during 2000, he said.
Chang revised downwards an earlier projection that the worldwide semiconductor market would be flat during 2005.
He now expected to see the worldwide semiconductor market decline by 3 per cent during the first quarter.