TSMC Profit Shrinks In 4Q

World's largest contract chip maker says its earnings fell 22 percent in the latest quarter amid uncertainties about the global economy.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip maker, says its earnings fell 22 percent in the latest quarter amid uncertainties about the global economy.

The company, which supplies chips for use in gadgets including Apple's iPhones and iPads, said Wednesday its October-December net profit amounted to 31.6 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.05 billion).

The company reported fourth-quarter revenue of NT$104.7 billion, down 5 percent from the same period last year.

TSMC said demand for chips for smartphones are up, while computer and consumer gadgets orders have dropped.

Officials said newly installed production using the cutting-edge 28 nanometer process could help improve profit margins this year.

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