Coronavirus News Asia

Korean chip makers post healthy pandemic profits


The first quarterly results in the era of Covid-19 from the bell-weather semiconductor industry in South Korea are both robust and beyond expectations, results from leading memory-chip suppliers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix show.

With entire countries and cities around the world in lockdown, requiring people to work, study and recreate at home, the results suggest that online businesses such as Google, Apple and Amazon, which require massive databases, are upgrading server capacity.

This capacity is servicing on-demand businesses such as internet shopping malls and movie streaming services, while more and more people require PCs at home.

Samsung predicted that the B2B memory chip business would remain stable in both the second quarter and the second half, despite uncertainties due to the pandemic.

Even so, the world’s second-largest semiconductor producer and the world’s leading smartphone maker said overall earnings are expected to decline as Covid-19 will significantly affect sales of core B2C products such as smartphones and TVs.

Experts were less sure. Though they anticipate a solid performance in Q2 and Q3 for the memory chip sector, they fear that Q2 might prove bloody.

Memory chips in the black 

Samsung disclosed Wednesday 6.44 trillion won (US$52.9 billion) in operating profits for the first quarter, down 0.71% from the previous quarter, but up 3.43% from the same period last year.

Its revenue reached 55.325 trillion won, down 7.6% from the previous quarter and up 5.61% from the same period last year. Net profit recorded 4.88 trillion won, falling from 5.04 trillion won in the previous quarter and 5.23 trillion won of the same period last year.



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