U.S. News

Advantest Eyes 10% Profit Rise for Fiscal Year 2008


Japanese chip gear maker Advantest aims for an operating profit rise of at least 10% next year - lower than expectations - but it is keeping an eye out for any delays in deliveries to makers of memory and display drivers, its president said on Friday.

Advantest, the world's largest supplier of machines used to test microchips, is keeping a conservative outlook, although it expects steady demand from computer memory makers following Microsoft's launch of its new Windows Vista operating system.

"I tend to think the positives will prevail overall next year. There's a backlog of orders," Advantest President Toshio Maruyama told Reuters in an interview. "But there could very well be slight delays as to when the orders are actually filled."

The company's goal compares with a market consensus for a 30% year-on-year profit rise in the business year beginning April, according to 20 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Orders from makers of liquid crystal display drivers should pick up in the second half of next year, Maruyama said.

The company cut its annual forecast last month for the second time this year to a net profit of 41 billion yen, down 5% from an October forecast, on sluggish sales of testers for display driver chips and flash memory.

Total sales fell by a third in the October-December period from the previous year, and outstanding orders slipped by close to a quarter.