Global chip sales gain 27 percent in third quarter

San Jose (CA) - Worldwide semiconductor revenues posted rose to $18.4 billion in September, according to a report released by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Sales for the month were up only one percent sequentially. Third quarter results however were 27 percent higher than one year ago.

Increasing global sales of semiconductors continue to improve the mood in the industry and the belief in a strengthening US economy. According to the SIA, the sales volume rose to $18.4 billion in September.

Worldwide microchip sales for the third quarter of 2004 amounted to $55.2 billion, which is an increase of 3.2 percent from the second quarter with sales of $53.5 billion. Compared to the third quarter of 2003, the increase reaches a healthy 27.4 percent. Worldwide microchip sales for the first nine months of 2004 reached $157.6 billion, an increase of 33.2 percent from the comparable period of 2003.

"Despite evidence of an ongoing inventory correction in some segments of the industry, the September sales figures reflect continuing growth in demand for semiconductors," said SIA President George Scalise. "September is traditionally one of most consistently strong months for microchip sales as manufacturers of electronic products gear up for the holiday season."

Scalise said that sales of personal computers and cell phone handsets appeared to be stronger than expected and are contributing to growth in sales of microprocessors, DSP, flash memory devices, and DRAMs.

Strongest market for semiconductors remains Asia-Pacific with sales of $7.79 billion and an increase of 1.6 percent over August. Sales in Japan declined 0.5 percent to $3.95 billion; sales in the Americas fell 1.7 percent to $3.32 billion. Europe posted a strong growth of 4.1 percent and passed the Americas in total revenues of $3.35 billion. Declining sales in Japan and the Americas were attributed to "the ongoing inventory correction in these segments", Scalise said.