Sapphire makers may turn profitable in 2Q12


Taiwan-based makers of sapphire wafers suffered operating losses in 2011 due to stagnant demand for LED epitaxial wafers and chips, but are likely to turn profitable in the second quarter of 2012 as global demand for LED chips used for backlight and lighting began to grow in March, according to industry sources.

International prices for a 2-inch sapphire wafer dropped to US$8-9 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and further to US$7-8 in the first quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. In view of growing demand for LED chips, makers of sapphire wafers plan to hike prices for 2-inch wafers to nearly US$9, the sources pointed out.

Crystalwise Technology, a Taiwan-based maker of sapphire wafers, has released its 2011 financial report, recording revenues of NT$2.256 billion (US$74 million), gross margin of negative 21.30%, net operating loss of NT$571 million, net loss of NT$616 million and net loss per share of NT$7. 


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