The logo of SK hynix is seen atop the company’s semiconductor plant in this aerial photograph taken above Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, on July 22, 2019. (Bloomberg-Yonhap)
SK hynix on Wednesday reported a record high quarterly sales of 13.81 trillion won ($10.6 billion) from the April to June period, but said it would review next year’s investment plans, citing the global economic uncertainties and weakening market demand. The world’s second-largest memory chipmaker also saw its operating profit increased by 47 percent from the previous quarter to 4.19 trillion won.
“Although the prices of DRAM products decreased in the second quarter, the prices of NAND increased and the overall sales volume went up, leading to an increase in revenues,” an SK hynix official said.
The official said that the continuation of a strong dollar and the addition of Solidigm’s earnings were also plus factors. Solidigm, now a US subsidiary of SK hynix, was established through the South Korean chipmaker’s buyout of Intel’s NAND Flash business unit in December last year.
The chipmaker said the record earnings from the second quarter were meaningful as the numbers were achieved under the difficult business situations such as the global inflation, the prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the lockdowns in some Chinese regions.
The company predicted that the demand for memory semiconductors will slow down in the second half of this year as the shipments of computers and smartphones that use memory chips are expected to decrease from the earlier predictions.
The demand for server memory chips, which are supplied to companies operating data centers, could also stall as customers will use the chips that they have already secured first, according to SK hynix.
“The level of stock is increasing among the memory chip industry and customers. It is inevitable to adjust next year’s (capital expenditures),” said Noh Jong-won, chief marketing officer at SK hynix, during the conference call.
“Consumer sentiment is shrinking due to inflation and deepening concerns over the economic recession while companies are visibly trying to reduce costs. Although the issue of supply chain has been gradually resolved in the first half, we are facing a real downswing of demand in the second half,” he added.
Previously, SK hynix delayed a decision to pour 4 trillion won into building a new plant within its chip-producing campus in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province during a board meeting held last month. The construction was originally scheduled to begin early next year and expected to be completed by 2025.