Taiwan Chipmaker TSMC Says Profit Grew 3 Percent

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, said its January-March profit grew 3 percent from the previous quarter amid a continued rebound in global demand for computers.

Net income for the period amounted to 33.6 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.1 billion) on revenue of NT$92 billion ($2.9 billion), the company said Tuesday. A year earlier, the company reported net income of just NT$1.56 billion after being hit hard by the global financial crisis.

At an investor conference, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang predicted a 22 percent surge in the global chip market this year, against an 18 percent increase forecast earlier.

But he said the company may not continue to maintain a 100 percent utilization rate because of an expansion of its fabrication plant capacity.

TSMC's chips are used in devices ranging from mobile phones, video games to computers. Demand plunged following the 2008 onset of the global crisis but began to recover during the second quarter of last year.

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