Taipei, April 27 (CNA) MediaTek Inc., one of Taiwan's leading integrated circuit designers, said Friday that it suffered a 14.3 percent decline in net profit for the first quarter of this year from the final quarter of last year due to the low-season effect in the consumer electronics business.
In an investor conference, MediaTek said it posted about NT$2.5 billion (US$85.32 million) in net profit, down from NT$2.92 billion recorded in the previous quarter.
Its earnings per share stood at NT$2.19 in the first quarter, down from NT$2.64 quarter-on-quarter, the company said.
Although demand over the past three months for chips used in smartphones and TVs appeared satisfactory, price competitionremained fierce, which dragged down MediaTek's gross margin.
During the period, its gross margin fell 2.1 percentage points from a quarter earlier to 42.1 percent, which was within the company's expectations, MediaTek said.
Sales for the first quarter fell 13.3 percent from the previousquarter to NT$19.62 billion, the company said.
In the first quarter, cellphone chips accounted for about 55 percent of MediaTek's total sales, while TV chips and WiFi connectivity chips made up the rest.
With the low-season effect fading, MediaTek President Hsieh Ching-jiang said, his company has become upbeat about the market outlook for the second quarter, mainly on the back of increasing shipments of smartphone chips.
Hsieh said MediaTek's sales for the second quarter are expected to range between NT$22.4 billion and NT$23.5 billion, up between 14 percent and 20 percent from the first quarter.
MediaTek's gross margin for the April-June period is expected to range between 40 percent and 42 percent, he went on.
Hsieh said he expects that shipments of smartphone chips in the second quarter will total 18 million-20 million units, compared with 10 million units recorded in the first quarter.
He said shipments of TV chips increased in the first quarter due to rising TV sales ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, adding that it is likely MediaTek will take a more-than 70 percent share of China's smart TV chip market in the first half of this year.
For the whole of 2012, Hsieh said, MediaTek has upgraded its forecast for smartphone chip shipments by 50 percent to 75 million units due to strong demand from China and other emerging markets.
(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)