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Taiwanese bespoke chip vendor UMC has returned to profitability after winning new customers and improving sales of its more expensive chips.

UMC turned a net profit of NT$1.4 billion ($41 million) for its third quarter, compared with a NT$4 billion loss ($115 million) in Q3 2001. While encouraging the profits failed to meet analyst expectations of a profit for UMC of around NT$2.1 billion ($58 million), Bloomberg reports.

As previously announced, sales for UMC rose from NT$12 billion ($342 million) in Q3 2001 to NT$19.2 billion ($548 million) in Q3 2002.

UMC was able to buck the trend of declining chip sales through sales successes and increasing sales of its most advanced products , Vice Chairman John Hsuan said in a Web conference on the results.

Bllomberg reports that UMC's average selling price rose 12.9 percent from Q2 2002 to Q3. Factory use dropped to 68 percent in the third quarter from 72 percent in the previous three months, it reports. ®

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