Taiwan chipmaker TSMC's earnings soar 91%

TAIPEI • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), chipmaker to Apple and Huawei Technologies, reported a 91 per cent rise in earnings after demand for advanced silicon remained steady.

The world's largest contract chipmaker reported net income of NT$116.99 billion (S$5.55 billion) for the three months ended March, compared with NT$61.4 billion a year earlier.

The robust results from TSMC, a barometer for the tech industry owing to its heft and place in the supply chain, underscore resilient demand for the semiconductors in smartphones and data centres that are hosting an unprecedented surge in online activity globally.

Taiwan's largest company commands a growing position in the production of the high-end chips needed in server capacity for everything from gaming to video streaming. It also makes semiconductors for laptops, phones and other devices that people are buying for home offices.

TSMC's revenue rose 42 per cent in the first quarter to NT$310.6 billion, based on previously reported monthly numbers. This is despite top customer Apple withdrawing its revenue outlook for the quarter.

But the company is likely to cut its sales outlook for this year to reflect competition from Samsung Electronics in contract chipmaking and potentially stricter United States licensing requirements, said Credit Suisse analysts earlier this week.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2020, with the headline 'Taiwan chipmaker TSMC's earnings soar 91%'. Subscribe