TSMC, Hon Hai, MediaTek top R&D spenders in Q2

Taipei, Aug. 23 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., and MediaTek Inc. ranked as the three largest research and development spenders among the manufacturers listed on Taiwan's main board and the over-the-counter (OTC) market in the second quarter of his year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Citing statistics, the MOEA said that the TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, spent NT$13.6 billion (US$453 million) in R&D expenses during the April-June period, topping R&D spending rankings among Taiwan's listed manufacturers. TSMC's second quarter spending on R&D hit a new quarterly high, up 14 percent from a year earlier. Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, which assembles iPad and iPhone for Apple Inc., came in second, spending NT$11.4 billion in the second quarter, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier, the statistics showed. MediaTek, one of the world's leading smartphone chip designers, came in third, spending NT$10.4 billion on R&D in the second quarter, up 59.6 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said. The ministry added that it was the first time for MediaTek to record R&D spending above the NT$10 billion mark, and the second quarter was the 10th consecutive quarter for the integrated circuit designer to record a year-on-year increase in R&D expenses. Meanwhile, R&D spending by all of the listed manufacturers on the main board and the OTC market for the second quarter totaled NT$131.6 billion, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier, the statistics indicated. The information/electronics segment spent NT$108.5 billion in R&D, the largest amount among all the segments. The amount marked a 7.6 percent increase, followed by the metal/electrical machinery segment with NT$13.9 billion in spending, which was up 6.3 percent year-on-year. In the past quarter, listed manufacturing companies posted NT$278.8 billion in aggregate net profit, with a net profit margin at 5 percent, the highest level in 15 quarters. The second quarter figure rose 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier. The information/electronics sector recorded the highest net profit margin of 5.4 percent, up 1 percentage point from a year earlier. The metal/electrical machinery segment posted the second highest net profit margin of 4.9 percent, down 0.3 percentage points year-on-year. Meanwhile, listed manufacturers spent NT$276.6 billion in fixed capital investments in the second quarter, down 8 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said. The ministry said that the information/electronics sector suffered a year-on-year decline of about NT$14 billion, the largest drop among the all manufacturing segments, after investments from computers, electronics and optoelectronics firms were cut by about NT$19 billion. (By Lin Meng-ju and Frances Huang)