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The end (of the flash boom) is nigh! But not before SK Hynix tallies up its record revenues

New production facilities may not be needed, if doom-monger analysts are to be believed

In its third 2018 quarter, SK Hynix revenues were up a massive 41 per cent, year on year, to a record $9.94bn, with net income of $4.08bn, a rise of 53.5 per cent on the year.

The operating profit margin also rose, reaching 57 per cent from 46 per cent a year earlier. All the stats for the quarter, the three months to September 30, were published this week, here [PDF].

The South Korean fabber makes DRAM and NAND, and is the world number two in DRAM production. It is lowering its capital spending in 2019 compared to this year, citing China-US trade tensions.

Demand for digital memory has become more volatile, if Western Digital's quarterly results are anything to go by.

Hynix expects flash prices to continue falling until early 2019, due to declining smartphone sales and weak demand in China. Financial analysts, speaking to Reuters, proclaimed an end to the unprecedented industry boom and soaring profits for chipmakers around the world.

Hynix expects the development of 1Ynm DRAM to complete by the end of 2018, as will the development of 96-layer 3D NAND. By year's end, the cleanroom expansion at the fab in Wuxi, China, will be complete, with production expected to start mid-2019.

The recently completed M15 fab should also start contributing to production capacity from the first half of 2019. All these enhanced facilities may have to run at sub-optimal levels if the flash boom is over. ®


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