Most South Korean fabless chip companies recorded poor earnings during the second quarter due to the prolonged global chip shortage.
However, some of the companies saw profits thanks to increase in unit prices.
LX Semicon, meanwhile, saw operating income increase by nine times from a year ago during the quarter.
TheElec collected earning data of 21 South Korea fabless companies.
Telechips, Fidelix, Anapass, Dongwoo Anatech, Pixelplus, Imagis and LCD, which had recorded losses in the previous year, returned to profitability during the quarter.
Foundry and chip back-end companies have been increasing their unit prices since the fourth quarter last year, a person familiar with the matter said.
This resulted in unit prices for fabless companies to increase during the second quarter, as it takes two to three months for them to receive new orders to reflect that price chance, they said.
LX Semicon posted 449.2 billion won in sales and 95.5 billion won in operating income during the second quarter. Sales more than doubled and operating income jumped 926.9% from the previous year.
Its operating margin rate stood at 21.3%, five times the rate of 4.2% in the previous year.
LX Semicon saw the high growth thanks to high demand for display driver ICs used in TVs and notebooks.
Large-sized display driver ICs saw high unit price increase during the quarter, more than the increase in cost of the raw materials.
The company’s main customer LG Display has also won more orders from OLED panels from Apple compared to a year ago.
ADTechnology, which newly entered Samsung’s design house ecosystem, record 79 billion won in sales during the second quarter, an increase of 13.2% from a year ago. Its operating income dipped 24.4% over the same time period to 3.4 billion won. The firm benefited from increase in memory controller IC prices.
JSC recorded 65.5 billion won in sales and 7.9 billion won in operating income, an increase of 13% and 88%, respectively, from the previous year. The firm manufactures multi chip packages used in memory chips.
Telechips returned to profitability during the second quarter after five consecutive quarters of losses. The firm recorded 29.5 billion won in sales, an increase of 25.5% from the previous year. Its operating income during the quarter stood at 860 million won.
The company has been suffering from the production problems in the automobile industry. Samsung’s Austin foundry returning to normal will help it increase supply going forward, a company spokesperson said.
Samsung Display supplier Anapass recorded 10.2 billion won in operating income during the quarter, returning to profitability from a year ago. The company received compensation from its foundry partner UMC for production problems last year. Anapass is also seeing increased sales from its OLED timing controller business.
Pixelplus also returned to profitability, posting 800 million won. Unit price increases from the foundry shortage was reflected on the second quarter earnings, the firm said.
Zinitix recorded 9.6 billion won in sales and 1 billion won in operating income, an increase of 33.3% and 900%, respectively, from the previous year. The company started supplying its touch controller IC to Fitbit in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, NC&, Alpha Holdings, TLI, I&C and Ranix also continued their loss streaks during the quarter. ADC turned to the red during the quarter.