TAIPEI, June 11 (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW), the world's top contract chip maker, expects its foundry business to grow steadily over the next 10 years, and plans to venture into new areas that it hopes will fuel growth further, its chairman said on Thursday.
TSMC is eyeing new pastures in the green energy sector with plans to venture into LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and solar energy as the company ponders diversification and seeks long-term growth drivers beyond chip foundries.
Revenue from TSMC's foundry business will grow by as much as 50 percent to $14-$15 billion by 2018, Chairman Morris Chang told a news conference, up from about $10 billion in 2008.
Chang, who will serve as the firm's chief executive again starting from Friday, also said its new non-foundry business would garner revenue of another $2 billion by then.
"There will be many challenges in future and one of them is to create new businesses to fuel TSMC's growth. Growth in the global semiconductor industry is already slowing," Chang said as he aims to steer TSMC's ride on the sector's nascent recovery.
Semiconductor sales will only recover to 2008 levels of around $20 billion in 2012, Chang said. TSMC claims about half of the global sales now.
"We hope to find business opportunities to enter the green energy sector," said Rick Tsai, TSMC's incumbent CEO. "That will help fuel the company's growth and profit."
TSMC said it did not rule out spinning off its new businesses in the future.
CHANG AT THE HELM AGAIN
Chang will replace Tsai, who will serve as president of TSMC's new business development organisation, reporting directly to him from Friday.
TSMC's board also re-elected Chang as chairman on Thursday, a day after the foundry veteran said the worst of the global semiconductor industry slump had passed, and after TSMC posted its highest monthly sales in seven months.