Spreadtrum Predicts Revenue in 2015 to Reach US$1.45 Billion

12 Nov

Chinese mobile device chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications said Wednesday its revenue would increase more than 20% year-on-year to US$1.45 billion in 2015.

The company recorded record revenue in the second quarter by growing 13% quarter-on-quarter and 16% year-on-year, chairman and chief executive officer Leo Li said at the annual Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) forum in Hsinchu.

Li’s visit to Taiwan came amid rising tensions between Taiwanese and Chinese semiconductor makers. Those tensions intensified in late October when China’s state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup – Spreadtrum’s parent company – moved to acquire 25% of Taiwan memory chip packager Powertech Technology.

In 2014, Spreadtrum shipped 450 million handset chips, taking 22% of the global market. The company expects shipments to rise to about 500 million units this year.

The company reported revenue of US$1.16 billion in 2014, with about 90% of that revenue came from overseas customers.

In terms of its technology portfolio, Spreadtrum plans to ship its first 16-nanometer chip in the second quarter of next year at the earliest, Li said.

Spreadtrum’s performance compares favorably with that of MediaTek and Qualcomm, Li said. In the second quarter, MediaTek’s revenue fell 1% year-on-year while Qualcomm reported a 15% annual decline in sales during the quarter ending June.

Meanwhile, “Spreadtrum can afford to live with a lower margin because we have a significantly smaller staff than the two big guys,” Li said, in reference to Taiwan’s MediaTek and U.S.-based Qualcomm. “They hire more people and their costs are definitely higher than ours.”

Li declined to reply to questions from reporters regarding Spreadtrum potentially merging with MediaTek. Tsinghua Unigroup chairman Zhao Weiguo expressed interest in such a deal last week.

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