SK Hynix posts small Q3 operating loss

Spike in demand for mobile and flash memory chips helps South Korean chipmaker limit the impact of a slumping PC market to book an operating loss of US$13.6 million.

SK Hynix is capitalizing on the industry shift toward mobile devices and flash memory to offset the negative impact of a slumping PC industry, and this has helped the South Korean chipmaker limit its third quarter operating loss to 15 billion won (US$13.6 million).

According to its regulatory filing Wednesday, the company's operating loss for the three months ended September was significantly better than the 277 billion won loss a year earlier. It also posted a 2 billion won (US$1.8 million) net profit for the quarter on revenue of 2.4 trillion won (US$2.2 billion).

The smaller-than-expected loss was due to the increased demand for chips used in mobile devices such as Apple's iPhone and iPad as well as flash memory, it noted. Mobile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips now account for more than 30 percent of its total DRAM revenue, up from 20 percent to 25 percent in the previous quarter.

DRAM chips on the whole accounted for some 70 percent of the manufacturer's revenue, while NAND flash memory chips contributed around 25 percent, the filing stated.

A Reuters report Wednesday noted that its results bode well for the current quarter, and analysts were expecting SK Hynix to return to profit as a number of new mobile products are expected to hit the market in time for the end-of-year holiday season.

These devices include the newly-released Apple iPad Mini and iPad 4 , as well as Microsoft's Windows 8-based tablets and hybrid PCs which are set to be introduced later this week, it noted.

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