IC testing firm's March sales up

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) King Yuan Electronics Co. Ltd, one of Taiwan's leading integrated circuit testing service providers, said Saturday that its sales for March grew from a month earlier, with market analysts attributing the growth partly to rising demand from communications device clients. In particular, solid global sales in smartphone chips spurred King Yuan's sales growth in the month, while testing services for ICs used in flat panel screens remained stable, analysts said. They said demand for testing services for chips on the advanced 28 nanometer technology process was also on the rise, further boosting King Yuan's sales. Last month, King Yuan posted NT$1.19 billion (US$39.80 million) in consolidated sales, up 14.71 percent from February, and also up 8.7 percent from a year earlier. In the first three months of this year, King Yuan's consolidated sales totaled NT$3.38 billion, down 9.82 percent from the fourth quarter on slow season effects seen during the January-March period. However, the first quarter figure was up 6.04 percent from a year earlier. Analysts attributed the year-on-year growth to buyers from Europe and the United States rebuilding their inventory. Looking ahead, King Yuan said as the world economy was expected to continue recovering in the second quarter, the global IC testing business would grow accordingly. In order to meet a recovery in global demand for 2013, the IC testing service provider plans to spend about NT$5 billion as capital expenditure for the year for business expansion. Of that amount King Yuan would spend about NT$1 billion to build a new production base in an industrial park in Tongluo Township of Miaoli County. The plant broke ground on Dec. 10 and was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The Tongluo production base is expected to create new 1,000 jobs, the company said. Meanwhile, King Yuan has proposed issuing a cash dividend of NT$1.1, the dividend payout ratio hitting 84 percent based on the company's earnings per share of NT$1.3. (By Jalen Chung and Frances Huang)