Chartered posts $108M loss for Q2 as revenue is halved

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., the world's third-largest silicon wafer foundry, posted a net loss of US$107.6 million for its second quarter on revenue that fell by more than half from the preceding quarter, the company has announced.

Revenue for the second quarter was $102.4 million, 51.3 percent lower than in the first quarter and 65.8 percent down on the $299.6 million [M] posted in the second quarter last year, when the company recorded a profit of $58 million, Chartered said in a statement. Those figures include revenue from Chartered's share of its minority-owned joint-venture company, Silicon Manufacturing Partners.

Barry Waite, president and chief executive officer of Singapore-based Chartered, said that 2001 will deliver the sharpest contraction ever in the semiconductor industry. Weakness persists in every sector of the semiconductor business as customers reduce inventories, and orders from telecommunication companies were particularly weak in the second quarter, Waite said in the statement.

Chartered shipped 87,800 200-millimeter (eight-inch) wafers in the quarter, down 47.3 percent compared to 166,400 in the first quarter, and down 61.2 percent from the 226,200 shipped in last year's second quarter, according to the statement.

Chartered said it had not yet seen any signs of stabilization in the market, but hoped to see a bottoming out during the second half of the year. To cut costs, Chartered will continue to selectively close down some manufacturing lines temporarily, the company said in the statement.

Chartered also said that its first fab capable of making 300-millimeter (12-inch) wafers, the $3.5 billion Fab 7, in Singapore, will come on stream in 2003, one year later than originally planned.

Chartered ranks third in size behind the world's two biggest contract chip makers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp., which are due to announce quarterly results this week.

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