TSMC sales fall below NT$100 billion mark in April

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s sales in April fell more than 15 percent from a month earlier to below NT$100 billion (US$3.34 billion). (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s sales in April fell more than 15 percent from a month earlier to below NT$100 billion (US$3.34 billion), a decline analysts attributed to weakening demand for consumer electronics gadgets and smartphones.

In a statement issued Friday after local markets closed, TSMC said it posted consolidated sales of NT$96.002 billion in April, down from a record monthly high of NT$113.52 billion in March.

Though down from March, April sales were up 28.5 percent from the same period a year earlier and pushed consolidated sales for the first four months of 2020 to NT$406.60 billion, up 31.6 percent from a year earlier, said the world’s largest contract chipmaker.

At an investor conference held in mid-April, TSMC forecast its consolidated sales for the second quarter to range between US$10.1 billion and US$10.4 billion, which would only be down 1 percent from the previous quarter.

TSMC said it was expecting strong demand for high-end smartphones and high performance computing (HPC) devices to offset the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the typical weakness seen in the semiconductor sector in the second quarter.

The company cautioned, however, that its clients could see rising inventory levels in the second quarter, which could lead to inventory adjustments and lower demand in the second half of the year.

Still, TSMC has forecast its sales for 2020 as a whole will rise 14-19 percent from a year earlier, while sales of the entire semiconductor industry, excluding the memory chip segment are expected to stay flat or drop slightly during the year.

The chipmaker said its more advanced 7 and 5 nanometer processes will help drive 2020 sales growth and account for more than 30 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of its total sales.