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SK Hynix expects robust mobile chip sales, moderate server demand in fourth quarter

SK Hynix, the world’s No.2 memory chip maker, said it expected robust demand for mobile and PC chips to continue in the fourth quarter as it posted a 175% jump in operating profit in the July-September period, matching expectations.

The South Korean company which counts Apple Inc and Huawei among its customers said it had seen a recovery in mobile DRAM demand and sales expansion in mobile NAND flash in the third quarter.

The trend would continue in the current quarter thanks in part to new smartphone launches, it said.

However the market for server chips would see more modest growth in line with the third quarter.

The chipmaker reported third-quarter operating profit of 1.3 trillion won (£876 million), up from 473 billion won a year earlier. Revenue rose 19% to 8.1 trillion won.

Analysts had expected a 1.27 trillion won profit, according to RefinitivSmartEstimate that is weighted towards more consistently accurate analysts.

The third-quarter result was buoyed by Huawei’s stockpiling of semiconductors before U.S. restrictions barred it from buying chips made with U.S. technology, analysts said.

Orders for mobile chips from Chinese smartphone makers have increased in the fourth quarter as they compete to grab Huawei’s market share, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said last month.

SK Hynix agreed in October to buy Intel Corp’s NAND memory chip business for $9 billion (£7 billion) in an all-cash deal that would propel the South Korean chipmaker to second in the global rankings and bring the benefits of consolidation to the NAND flash business, analysts said. Reuters

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