Hynix Semiconductor CEO
By Kim Yoo-chul
ICHEON, Gyeonggi Province ― Hynix Semiconductor aims to reap record sales in 2010 as the chipmaker is optimistic about the outlook for the global chip industry, a new company head said.
Citing a tight supply and its technological superiority over its Japanese and Taiwanese rivals, Hynix also plans to lower its debt to 6 trillion won by the end of this year from the current mark of some 7 trillion won.
"Hynix plans to attain record sales this year. The semiconductor market is upbeat and we are now meeting only 60 percent of chip demand from our clients," Kwon Oh-chul, new chief executive of the company, said at a press conference, here, Monday.
The best performance year for the world's second-biggest maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips was in 2007 when it struck 8.6 trillion won in sales on a consolidated basis ― an international accounting measurement that includes its overseas performances. It earned some 7.9 trillion won last year.
"It is expected that Hynix will earn more cash due to the stronger market. In the long term, Hynix will lower the debt to below 4 trillion won," the chief executive said.
Referring to the ambitious sales target and the upbeat market mood, Kwon has simply stopped worrying about a "bubble" in the industry.
"Our financial soundness will improve. With more cash, we will prepare for sustainable corporate growth regardless of market conditions," Kwon said.
When asked about the possibility of raising this year's investment budget from 2.3 trillion won, the company head said it has a plan to invest more in memory chips such as DRAMs and NAND flashes but that such moves are up to market conditions.
The market for memory chips, which are widely used in traditional PCs, smartphones and other digital devices, has been on a stable path since last year due to spending cutbacks from cash-strapped chipmakers and the healthy demand for consumer electronics products amid signs of global economic recovery.
Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor, the world's top two memory chipmakers, are expected to see record quarterly profit for the first three months of this year, analysts say.
Kwon said the company's top management executives will continue the efforts to search for investors, citing the increased appetite of several strategic investors.
"Creditors will sell five percent more out of their combined 21.4 percent stake in the latter half. The remaining stake will help Hynix guarantee management stability," he said.
Cutting Ties With Numonyx
Kwon said the firm will seriously consider cutting ties with Numonyx as Micron Technology is expected to finish the acquisition process in April, at the earliest.
"If Micron finalizes the deal with Numonyx, the U.S. company will directly compete with Hynix in both DRAM and NAND flash memory chips. It might be impossible to continue the current strategic partnership due to anti-trust issues and technology matters," the executive said.
Kwon plans to meet the top Micron management officials soon. Hynix has a 22 percent share of the joint venture with Numonyx in China.
Micron Technology of the United States will acquire flash memory manufacturer Numonyx in a $1.1 billion stock transaction deal.
Numonyx was formed in 2008 in a development venture involving Intel, STMicroelectronics and Francisco Partners, a private equity firm.