UMC leapfrogs TSMC in capex spending

February 6, 2004 – Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) is projecting its 2004 capex budget will be $2.12 billion–nearly triple the amount it spent in 2003, and an amount that would exceed rival TSMC’s capex plans.

Of the funds, $1.15 billion will go to UMC’s factories in Taiwan, with $850 million for its UMCi 300mm operations in Singapore, and $120 million for its UMCJ operations in Japan. CEO Jackson Hu said that by the end of 2004, UMC will have tripled its 300mm capacity to 30,000 wafers/month; total capacity is expected to increase 16% year-on-year, with half the chips manufactured with sub-0.18-micron processes.

UMC reported 4Q03 earnings of roughly $20 million on $712 million in revenue, its best performance since 4Q of 2000. For the year 2003, the company reported revenues of $2.5 billion and a profit of $413 million, gains of 26% and 98%, respectively.


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