SK Hynix posts $159M profit as chip prices rise

SK Hynix reports third consecutive quarterly profit as chip prices rise

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. on Wednesday reported its third consecutive quarterly profit as prices for PC memory chips rose.

Its net profit totaled 178.7 billion won ($159 million) in the January-March quarter compared with a net loss of 271.2 billion won a year earlier.

The results cemented a return to profit for Hynix as PC memory chip prices rebounded in recent months.

The Korean chip giant posted losses for a year through to June 2012 as a supply glut and sluggish PC sales battered chip prices. The industry-wide downturn forced Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. to file for bankruptcy last year.

Hynix's quarterly sales rose 2 percent to 2.8 trillion won. Operating profit reached 316.9 billion won, compared with a 263.5 billion won loss a year earlier.

Hynix said it benefited from higher PC chip prices after many other chip suppliers shifted production to mobile chips, limiting supplies of memory devices for PCs.

Even though the first quarter is typically a slow period for consumer electronics makers, Hynix said it sold more chips for PCs and servers thanks in part to the limited supplies by rivals.

SK Hynix, which competes with Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Corp., supplies memory chips to Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and others.

The chip giant forecast stronger demand for mobile devices in the second quarter and said upcoming launches of new smartphone models will lift sales of mobile chips.

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