SK Hynix turns to profit on higher chip prices

Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. said Wednesday it has swung to a profit in the first three months of this year from a year earlier thanks to higher chip prices.

Its net income reached 178.7 billion won ($159 million) in the January-March period, compared with a net loss of 271.2 billion won a year earlier.

Sales rose 2 percent to 2.8 trillion won. Operating profit reached 316.9 billion won, compared with a 263.5 billion won loss a year earlier.

Hynix said it benefited from higher PC chip prices after many other chip suppliers shifted production to mobile chips, limiting supplies of memory devices for PCs.

Even though the first quarter is typically a slow period for consumer electronics makers, Hynix said it sold more chips for PCs and servers thanks in part to the limited supplies by rivals.

SK Hynix, which competes with Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Corp., supplies memory chips to Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and others.

The chip giant forecast stronger demand for mobile devices in the second quarter and said upcoming launches of new smartphone models will lift sales of mobile chips.