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Infineon ups 2022 revenue forecast as chip drought persists

Automotive makers say they still can't buy enough semiconductors to meet car buyers demands

Infineon, the largest chip supplier to the automotive sector, has upgraded revenue and margin forecasts for 2022 as customers continue to struggle to source enough semiconductors to fulfill their needs.

The Germany-based company, formerly known as Siemens Semiconductor, this morning raised its outlook for the year to €14 billion ($14.25 billion), up by €500 million ($509 million) on the prior forecast. This is the third such upward revision made during the company’s current financial year.

For its third quarter of fiscal 2022 ended 30 June, Infineon reported revenue of €3.618 billion ($3.68 billion), up 33 percent year-on-year and 10 percent sequentially. Automotive was up 14 percent annually to €1.7 billion ($1.73 billion).

Earlier today, carmaker BMW reduced its own production forecast with CEO Oliver Zipse saying [PDF]: “Semiconductor supply difficulties remain the dominant and decisive issue for our sales performance.”

“We now expect deliveries for the whole year to be slightly lower than the previous year’s high level. Our EBIT margin in the Automotive Segment should stay within the range of 7 to 9 percent. The crucial factor will be how the supply situation develops – not just for semiconductors, but also energy supplies in Europe,” he added.

Late last month, Nissan chief operating officer Ashcan Gupta said his company had taken “steps to secure inventory levels with chip suppliers and allocated chips to priority products and markets.”

“In the mid-term, we are developing alternative semiconductors and also replacing custom-made semiconductors with general-purpose semiconductors. We will provide suppliers medium to long-term production outlook to ensure they align and meet supply commitment.”

Similarly, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said in July it anticipates “impact from semis into next year” and is moving to three families of semiconductors from 2026 to be more flexible to future bouts of drying supplies.

Also last month, Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt said it is still facing a “lot of uncertainty in the supply chain’s short type of commitments, depending on continuous struggle, when it comes to electronics and semiconductors.”

Both Gartner and Omdia previously told The Register the chip industry has passed peak shortages, although IDC doesn’t quite concur. Carmakers were hit hard by the supply shortfall because they operate relatively inflexible supply chains and after cancelling orders early in the pandemic found themselves at the back of the customer queue.

Elsewhere in Infineon’s results, sales in the Power & Sensors division climbed 10 percent to €1.02 billion ($1.04 billion), and edged up 2 percent in Connected Secure Systems to €456 million ($463 million) and 1 percent in Industry Power Control to €436 million ($443 million).

Infineon reported a profit of €517 million ($525 million) versus €469 million ($476 million) a year earlier.

Jochen Hanebeck, CEO at the chipmaker, said in a statement [PDF]: “Increases in energy costs, raw material prices and interest rates, the continuing pandemic and geopolitical uncertainties are all impeding economic growth. In some consumer-oriented end markets demand has recently weakened.

“We are keeping a close eye on market developments and are prepared to act swiftly,” he added.

Analysts might disagree how the chip industry is recovering but it’s clear that from the carmaker’s perspective, shortages persist. ®

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