Infineon makes profit at last

Improved prices for memory chips have brought the first profit in over two years for German chip maker Infineon Technologies.

The Munich company reported net income of €49 million (US$57 million as of Sept. 30, the last day of the period being reported) for the fourth quarter, after nine consecutive quarters of net losses, it said in a statement Monday. In the fourth quarter of 2002, the company reported a net loss of €506 million.

Fourth quarter revenue was €1.76 billion, up 37 percent from the same period last year, Infineon said. Revenue was up in all business groups, but especially in memory products and secure mobile solutions, it said.

Rising chip prices for memory products, stronger demand and manufacturing cost reductions in the memory products business unit all contributed to the improved results, Infineon said.

The company has, however, warned that both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission are investigating possible antitrust practices in the DRAM (Dynamic RAM) market. An adverse decision from either regulatory body could affect the company's financial situation, it said.

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