Taipei, Taiwan's manufacturers listed on the local equity market posted NT$1.5 trillion (US$50.34 billion) in combined net profit in 2017, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, leading the pack, according to official figures.
The growth in profit was the highest in three years as the local economy was on the path to recovery, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
TSMC ranked as the most profitable firm in 2017 among the manufacturers listed on the local main board and the over-the-counter market.
In addition, the chipmaker also served as the top manufacturer listed on the local equity market to pour funds in research and development as well as in fixed asset investments last year.
Data compiled by the MOEA's statistics department showed TSMC posted NT$343.1 billion in net profit in 2017, accounting for 22.7 percent of the combined net income recorded by all of the listed manufacturers in Taiwan.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, came in second after posting NT$138.7 billion in net profit, ahead of Formosa Plastics Corp., which raked in NT$80.2 billion, the data indicated.
Among all of the manufacturing industries, the electronics component sector posted the highest net profit, at NT$652 billion, due to strong global demand for flat panels and memory chips, the data showed.
Combined sales posted by all of listed manufacturers for 2017 totaled NT$16.6 trillion, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier. The growth broke a two-year losing streak, the data indicated.
The computer, electronics component and optoelectronics industries were the top contributors to the 2017 sales, posting NT$8.6 trillion in revenue, according to the data.
Data also showed that TSMC invested NT$79.9 billion in R&D in 2017, accounting for almost 20 percent of the total R&D spending among the listed manufacturers, ahead of integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. with NT$26.5 billion and Hon Hai with NT$13.7 billion.
In terms of fixed asset investments, the MOEA said TSMC's figure stood at NT$311.8 billion, making up more than 40 percent of the total the listed manufacturers invested.
The company poured funds in research and development as well as in fixed asset investments because it has been keen to invest more in advanced technology to maintain its lead over its peers in the global market.
But TSMC's fixed asset investments in 2017 fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier due to a relatively high comparison base in 2016, when the chipmaker spent a lot to install equipment for the advanced 10 nanometer process in its Taichung and Hsinchu wafer fabs, the MOEA said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel