Troubled memory giant Hynix Semiconductor has managed to shrug off a wide range of problems to retain third place in the world DRam rankings.
According to first-quarter results from analyst iSuppli, the Korean supplier managed to fend off the rapidly growing Infineon Technologies, which it toppled from third place in Q4 2003. It also closed the gap with second-place rival Micron.
For the past couple of years Hynix has had to battle for survival, after it was found guilty by the US and European Union (EU) trade authorities of being propped up by anti-competitive government loans amounting to billions of dollars.
Since last year it has been penalised with punitive US and EU export duties of 57 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.
In Q1, Hynix retained the number-three spot with a 16.8 per cent share of worldwide DRam sales, up 0.7 per cent on Q4 2003. The firm's quarterly DRam sales were $918m, up by 12 per cent on the previous quarter.
Furthermore, Hynix achieved a surprisingly strong operating profit margin during the period, estimated at more than 20 per cent, iSuppli said. One of the main reasons for the firm's revival has been its dominance of the fast-growing Chinese DRam market.
Nam Hyung Kim, principal analyst at iSuppli, said: "Just two years ago Hynix Semiconductor appeared to be headed for the corporate graveyard, when the company's board of directors rejected a proposed merger deal with rival Micron.
"However, Hynix's strong performance in Q1 indicates the chip manufacturer is back on track, with the firm returning to profitability and gaining market share.
"Hynix is gaining on second-place Micron. The market share gap between the companies narrowed to 1.5 per cent in Q1, down from 3.3 per cent in Q4 last year."
Chris Austwick, managing director of VTEC, said: "It is really surprising to see Hynix doing so well. In Europe we see hardly any Hynix products now, because of the export duties. But it is strong in China, which is a massive growth market."
Samsung retained its customary number-one spot with a market share of 27.1 per cent, down by two per cent on Q4 2003.
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany