Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest contract chip maker, spent NT$38.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) in research and development in 2012, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Monday.
The TSMC maintained its top position in R&D spending among Taiwanese businesses for the fifth consecutive year since such a survey was first compiled in 2008, the MOEA said.
To learn more about the operations of the businesses, the ministry had based its survey on the financial statements of 1,358 listed and over-the-counter companies, excluding financial holding, insurance and stock brokerage firms.
The ministry said that listed and over-the-counter companies spent a total of NT$329.5 billion in R&D last year, an increase of 2.5 percent year-on-year.
The manufacturing industry accounted for 95.9 percent of the R&D expenditures. Among them, electronics parts and components accounted for more than half at NT$171.3 billion, and computer and electric products and optical products accounted for NT$106 billion.
The service industry only contributed to 4.1 percent of the R&D expenditure last year.
Overall, the TSMC's R&D expenditure at NT$38.8 billion last year topped all other companies, accounting for 7.8 percent of its revenues and an increase of 22.8 percent year-on-year.
It also was the third straight year to record a double-digit growth.
Meanwhile, HTC Corp., a major smartphone maker, had an R&D expenditure totaling NT$13.8 billion in 2012, accounting for 5.1 percent of its revenues, down 18.7 percent from the previous year.
Economics officials attributed the sharp decline to the high basis of comparison when the R&D expenditures of the company in 2011 were as high as NT$17 billion.
MediaTek Inc.'s expenditures in R&D were NT$13.1 billion, ranking third among the businesses.
Economic officials noted that MediaTek's R&D expenditures showed a decline over the past two years, noting its R&D was as high as NT$17 billion in 2010, but was cut to NT$13.4 billion in 2011.
In the service industry, the ministry said that Chunghwa Telecom invested the most in R&D at NT$3.6 billion, accounting for 1.9 percent of its revenues.
The ministry also announced the revenues of the listed and over-the-counter companies, as well as their net after-tax profit margin , and fixed asset investment in 2012.
Among them, the revenue of the listed and over-the-counter companies totaled NT$18.8 trillion in 2012, up 2.0 percent year-on-year. After-tax profit totaled NT$760.3 billion, down 11.6 percent annually.
Fixed asset investment by the companies totaled NT$767.8 billion, a 10 percent decrease year-on-year. Among them, the manufacturing industry pitched in the most at NT$646.1 billion, accounting for the most at 84.1 percent.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Lilian Wu)