Sales and profits at one of Japan's largest chip makers, NEC Electronics, rose in thefirst quarter of its current financial year.
The company, spun off from NEC in late 2002, recorded net sales of $US1.7 billion as of June 30, the last day of the period being reported), an increase of 9.4 per cent on the same period a year earlier, the company said. Operating income rose 27.3 per cent to $US137 million.
Sales of semiconductors, at $US1.6 billion, saw little change from the first three months of this year, because the company's chip fabrication plants were all running at capacity and the company wasn't able to increase production, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, Hiroshi Sato, said.
NEC Electronics planned to add extra production capacity this quarter, taking its total monthly capacity of 8-inch equivalent wafers from 204,000 to 211,000, he said.
Because of the capacity limitations, sales by category were almost unchanged on the first three months of the year. However, a comparison with demand from one year ago shows chips for consumer electronics are the fastest-growing category by value, up 44.4 per cent on the year.
Sales of chips for computing and peripherals products rose 30.2 per cent on the year, while those for communications climbed 14.8 per cent, the company said.
Looking ahead, Sato said the company anticipateed strong demand for chips for use in PC peripherals and automobiles.
Some of that demand was already being seen, especially for automobile applications from US customers, he said. That demand helped the company record a 34.5 per cent year-on-year increase in sales in the U.S. during the quarter.
For the full year to March 2005, NEC Electronics said it expected net sales to be $US6.93 billion, an increase of 8.1 per cent on last year.