VIA gulps down sales and asks for more

Says will beat 2000 estimates

Taiwanese chipmaker VIA Technology has said it will beat sales expectations for 2000.

The company's revised figures put revenue at NT$30.9 billion ($936 million) for the year based on a December sales report it distributed yesterday, according to the Taiwanese press.

This is slightly up on Via's previous forecast in August that sales would reach NT$30 billion.

"We still have to define the official figure," Via spokeswoman Manuela Mercandelli told Bloomberg. "The figure might be close to that."

Analysts remain upbeat about VIA - last year the company more than doubled its share of the chipset market to 40 per cent, and this year hopes to grab ten per cent of the processor business (which will mean shifting around 15 million of the components). It is also expected to increase sales by 50 per cent in 2001.

"They are three to six months ahead of their competition in the chipset business," said Daniel Heyler, an analyst with Merrill Lynch in Taipei, who predicts VIA is looking at NT$44 billion revenue for this year.

The company is also gearing up for the launch of its Samuel II processor in February. This will go head to head with Intel's Celeron in the low end market - but is expected to be smaller and cheaper to make than the Celeron, thanks to the shift to .13 micron production. Mercandelli said the market should expect to hear announcements from US and European computer vendors regarding the chip this quarter. ®

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