TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor foundry, reported a 42 percent increase in sales last year, the company said on Tuesday, as a global proliferation of new devices such as tablet PCs raised demand.
The Taiwan-based semiconductor giant said in a statement it had posted consolidated full-year sales of NT$419.54 billion (US$13.98 billion), including NT$34.87 billion last month.
Demand for chips in "new applications" such as smartphones, tablet PCs and Web-based media viewers gave crucial business to the likes of TSMC last year, said Yang Lee-chia, an analyst with SinoPac Securities in Taipei.
Last year's sales TSMC sales figures reflect a global demand for semiconductors in general, said acting company spokesperson Elizabeth Sun. That followed a dismal 2009, when fallout from the world financial crisis hurt business.
"Our Chairman Morris Chang had said 2010 would be a great year for growth, and he was right," Sun said. "2010 was a great year for semiconductors, and 2009 was a declining year. We don't need to explain. All the demand was completely wiped out then."
Much of TSMC's sales growth is due to the effect of a low comparison base from 2009, Yang said. Over that year, the 23-year-old firm reported consolidated sales of just NT$295.74 billion, down from NT$333.16 billion logged in all of 2008.
Still, TSMC's 2010 earnings beat forecasts by 1 percentage point, Sun said.
This year is likely to be just as strong for the semiconductor industry, up as much as 5 percent over 2010, analysts say.
Also in Taiwan's tech sector, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the world's largest electronics contract maker, reported non-consolidated revenues of NT$2.31 trillion, up 62.83 percent, a company spokesman said. That growth was partly due to orders for Apple product components late in the year.