VIA Q1 sales slide 28% as UMC's rise 47%

Latest results from Taiwan

VIA sold NT$5.7 billion worth of products during Q1 2003, the company announced today. That marks a 16.5 per cent decline on the previous quarter's NT$6.64 billion.

It also marks a decline of 28 per cent on the same period last year, when VIA recorded revenues of NT$7.3 billion. That fall is in marked contrast to the chip industry as a whole, which recorded a 13 per cent increase in sales between Q1 2002 and Q1 2003. Other PC-oriented chip companies have done just as poorly. AMD's Q1 sales were down 21 per cent on the same period last year. Intel's were down two per cent.

VIA lost NT$704 million during the quarter, more than the NT$646 it lost during Q4 2002. This time last year it made a profit of NT$1.07 billion. The company blamed the losses on "continued pressure on gross margins, inventory write-offs, investment losses and legal expenses".

Having made friends with Intel, that latter problem should now no longer be an issue for VIA (see Intel and VIA are friends again).

Meanwhile, Taiwanese foundry UMC posted Q1 profit of NT$403 million on sales of NT$17.9 billion, up 47.2 per cent from the same period last year and 2.1 per cent on the previous quarter.

During Q4 2002, the company saw net income total NT$986 million - UMC blamed the difference between then and now on "non-operating losses", but last quarter's net income was boosted by NT$657 million of one-off income. This time last year, UMC made a profit of NT$216 million.

Looking ahead, UMC said it expects wafer shipments to increase by more than 20 per cent during Q2. ®