Infineon has reported a higher-than-expected rise in quarterly operating profit due to greater demand from the auto industry. The German chipmaker hopes to continue riding the recovery wave in the global chip sector.
In the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, which began October 2013, Infineon's operating profit, excluding special items, came in at 116 million euros ($158 million), the German chipmaker announced Thursday.
Although the result was a staggering 22 percent lower than in the company's final quarter of fiscal 2013, it beat the consensus forecast of analysts who predicted operating profit of 96 million euros in a poll by Reuters news agency. The semiconductor business is traditionally subject to seasonal fluctuations, which sees business slumping at year-end.
Subsequently, Infineon's first-quarter revenue was also lower - down 7 percent and totaling 984 million euros. However, its operative margin was better than expected, Infineon said, reaching 11.8 percent between October and December 2013.
"Earnings were benefitting from the efficiency measures undertaken at our manufacturing facilities," Infineon Chief Executive Reinhard Ploss said in a statement.
Ploss also said he was optimistic about the current fiscal year as orders from customers were improving on the back of a global economic recovery. Therefore, Infineon was confident it would reach its goal of 11 percent higher revenue and an operative margin of up to 14 percent, he added.
Infineon shares gained almost 2 percent in early trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Thursday. The stock was sought by investors also because the German chipmaker had announced it would continue its capital return program under which it was seeking to repurchase convertible bonds worth 300 million euros by mid-February.