TSMC, UMC record Jan. sales decline

The China Post staff

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) yesterday both posted a decline in January net sales by 11 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

According to TSMC’s monthly sales report, the company’s net sales for January 2001 were NT$16,157 million, dropping by 11 percent from the previous month. Though the figure grew by 73.2 percent over the same period last year, the company is rather reserved about its total net sales for the first quarter of this year. TSMC chairman Morris Chang noted at an institutional investor conference that the company’s net sales for first quarter 2001 may be down by 25 percent on last quarter. TSMC spokesperson K.C. Chen attributed the month-to-month decline to the cooling of the previously overheated global semiconductor market. Chen also pointed out that customers’ long-term forecast and inventory status reports show that the bottom of the downturn is expected to appear in March or April 2001 and the cycle will trend upward in the second half of this year. On the other hand, UMC’s net sales for January 2001 were NT$9.5 billion, down by 7.6 percent from December 2001 but outperforming market expectations. The figure jumped by 56.12 percent from NT$6.08 billion for the same period of last year. Joining its major competitor TSMC, UMC was pessimistic about its performance for the first quarter of this year. The company expected its net sales for the first quarter 2001 to decline by 10 to 15 percent from the fourth quarter 2000 to stand at NT$27 to 28 billion. Earlier this week TSMC chairman Morris Chang indicated that TSMC may report a relatively poor performance for January, causing analysts to infer that UMC may face the same result. Though UMC’s January net sales were higher than expectations, observers predicted that the company’s monthly net sales for the first quarter 2001 will decrease by five to seven percent each month.