SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — SK hynix Inc., a major South Korean chipmaker, said Thursday its net profit jumped 97.7 percent to reach an all-time high in the fourth quarter from a year earlier largely due to strong chip prices on continued favorable market conditions.
Net profit came to 3.22 trillion won (US$3 billion) in the October-December period, up sharply from 1.62 trillion won posted a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating profit reached 4.47 trillion won, up 190.7 percent on-year from 1.54 trillion won, and sales soared 68.5 percent from 5.36 trillion to 9.03 trillion won during the cited period, it said.
SK hynix said it logged an operating income of 13.72 trillion won and sales of 30.1 trillion won last year. Net profit was 10.64 trillion won. Its annual and quarterly revenue, operating profit and net income were all at record highs.
“Favorable market conditions continued during the fourth quarter, thanks to strong demand for server products and price hikes for mobile products,” the company said in a press release.
Overall memory demand, particularly for server products, rapidly soared due to the worldwide growth of Internet data centers, it added.
SK hynix said it will expand new process technology mostly in server and SSD products to meet the growing market demand.
“The company will also pave the way for its full-fledged entrance into the enterprise SSD market by increasing the proportion of 72-layer 3D NAND and expand the sales of new NAND solutions, including UFS, to respond to the mobile market,” it said.
SK hynix said it invested 10.3 trillion won in facilities last year, the largest annual sum it has ever spent on equipment.
The amount is expected to increase this year due to its construction projects in China and Cheongju, some 120 kilometers south of Seoul.
“We were originally planning to complete the construction of the Cheongju factory by the end of this year and begin stocking equipment early next year, but we are trying to move up the time by two to three months,” a company official said. “But we will have to wait until after the first half of this year to see whether it can actually come into action.”
The expansion of its Chinese plant, in Xuwi, will be completed by 2018.
Shares of SK hynix closed up 4.7 percent at 75,800 won on the Seoul bourse Thursday, with the broader KOSPI index soaring 0.95 percent. The fourth-quarter report was released before the market opened.