Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said it saw its August sales hitting a monthly record high in the company's history.
Market analysts said the August spike was partly the result of an increase in orders placed by Apple Inc., which was building up inventory in preparation for the launch of the next-generation iPhones scheduled for later in September.
In a statement, TSMC said it posted sales of NT$106.12 billion (US$3.40 billion), the highest-ever level, up 25.2 percent from a month earlier and also up 16.5 percent from a year earlier.
Analysts said the August sales even surpassed an earlier market estimate of NT$100 billion on the back of the peak-season effect at a time when several major clients, including Apple, are set to launch new devices.
Apple is scheduled to hold a "special event" later Tuesday, details of which were not disclosed. However, the market has widely anticipated that the U.S. consumer electronics giant will introduce three new iPhone models using processors made on TSMC's high-end technology.
The August sales reversed a 1.3 percent month-on-month fall in sales for July, which totaled NT$84.76 billion, below a previous market prediction of about NT$90 billion.
During the July-August period, TSMC's consolidated sales stood at NT$190.88 billion.
In the wake of the strong demand from its clients prompted by the peak-season effect, the Taiwanese chipmaker is expected to achieve its third-quarter sales target of between US$9.1 billion and US$9.2 billion, up 18 percent from the second quarter, without difficulty.
In addition to strong demand for high-end smartphones, TSMC is expected to benefit from rising shipments of chips used in high performance computing devices, the Internet of Things applications and automotive electronic gadgets in the third quarter, analysts said.
The analysts added that besides Apple, Chinese integrated circuit (IC) designer HiSilicon Technologies Co., Taiwanese IC designer MediaTek Inc. and U.S.-based semiconductor Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are expected to serve as drivers to TSMC's sales growth in the July-September period.
TSMC's sales growth moment is expected to continue to grow in the fourth quarter as the development pace of 5G technology increases, which will boost demand for the advanced 7 nanometer process, capacity of which is already fully booked.
Meanwhile, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), a smaller rival of TSMC, posted NT$13.18 billion in consolidated sales, down 3.96 percent from a month earlier but up 0.02 percent from a year earlier.
The August sales were the second-highest level so far this year, trailing July's NT$13.73 billion.
Analysts said UMC is expected to achieve its third-quarter shipment goal, which will rise 2 percent-4 percent from the second quarter on the back of solid demand for communication devices.