Mobile chips add profit for SK Hynix

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Mobile chips add profit for SK Hynix

SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit after selling more units for mobile devices.

Net income was 163.7 billion won ($151 million), compared with a loss of 239.9 billion won a year earlier, the chip maker said in a filing yesterday. The company was expected to make a profit of 120.2 billion won, based on the average of 31 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 6.5 percent to 2.72 trillion won.

Increased production of chips for Apple’s iPhones and other mobile devices has helped SK Hynix offset waning demand for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) for personal computers. The chip maker is also gaining from growing demand from Chinese electronics companies, who buy more than half of its mobile chips, according to Hwang Min-seong, a Samsung Securities analyst.

“Hynix’s product mix is improving,” Hwang said. The company will also benefit from “the fast-growing smartphone market” in China, he said.Mobile chips accounted for as much as 40 percent of Hynix’s production in the fourth quarter compared with around 10 percent a year earlier, he said.

Operating profit, or sales excluding the cost of goods sold and administrative costs, was 55 billion won, compared with a 106.5 billion won loss a year earlier.

Samsung’s semiconductor unit, the world’s biggest producer of memory chips, boosted fourth-quarter operating profit by 8.4 percent as sales of DRAM chips for servers and mobile devices offset a slump in prices for PC DRAM caused by a global glut and slowing demand.

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