It is forecast that SK Hynix will be able to increase its annual sales for this year by over 40% from the year earlier to become part of the global top five in the industry.
According to market research firm IC Insights, the semiconductor manufacturer is expected to record US$13.04 billion in sales this year, 44% up from last year’s US$9.057 billion. The growth rate is the highest among the top 20 semiconductor fabrication companies worldwide.
The rapid growth is attributed to the rise in the price of DRAM chips. This year, market demand increased amid a supply shortage to cause the average price to go up by over 10% year-on-year.
SK Hynix, approximately 70% of whose production is DRAM chips, cannot but be highly sensitive to the market price. The fire that occurred in early September in its plant in Wuxi, China has raised the contract price by more than 30%, indirectly contributing to sales growth as well.
At present, SK Hynix is accounting for 30% of the global DRAM market. It is followed by Taiwanese application processor (AP) manufacturer MediaTek, which is predicted to grow 34% this year, and Micron, whose year-on-year growth rate is estimated at 32%. Micron is said to have benefited much from not only the increase in the price of DRAM chips but also its acquisition of Elpida. The fourth and fifth spots are taken by Qualcomm and Taiwanese foundry company TSMC. The former is expected to record a growth rate of 30% this year. Samsung Electronics and Intel stand at 11th and 14th each, with estimated growth rates of 4% and -2%, respectively.
SK Hynix has joined the ranks of top 5 globally in sales, too. It ranked seventh on the turnover list last year, when Intel (US$48.321 billion) and Samsung Electronics (US$33.59 billion) topped the chart. They were followed by TSMC (US$19.804 billion), Qualcomm (US$17.145 billion), Toshiba (US$12.197 billion), Texas Instruments (US$11.474 billion), Micron (US$10.551 billion), ST Micro (US$8.184 billion), and Broadcom (US$8.11 billion).
IC Insights predicted that DRAM chip makers, AP manufacturers, and foundry companies would be enjoying some solid growth together next year. “It seems that DRAM chip companies like SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, and AP manufacturers such as MediaTek and Qualcomm will post substantial growth next year along with foundry firms like TSMC and GlobalFoundries in 2014,” it said.