To Our Shareholders and Investors
I am deeply grateful to our shareholders and investors for your ongoing confidence in SUMCO.
During the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 (January 1, 2022–June 30, 2022), the market for 300 mm semiconductor silicon wafers continued to see demand for both logic and memory applications greatly exceed supply capacity, driven by expanding data center needs and growth in automotive use.
In the market for wafers of 200 mm and smaller, as well, supply-demand tightness continued due to strong needs for automotive and industrial uses.
In this environment the Group, on the way to realizing the SUMCO Vision, has endeavored to maintain our high market share in leading-edge products through technology development, aimed at meeting customer demands for higher precision and making distinctive products, while seeking also to improve our profit-and-loss fundamentals by raising productivity with the use of AI and becoming more cost-competitive.
Looking at the third quarter outlook for the 300 mm semiconductor silicon wafer market, while the PC and smartphone end-product markets are in a correction phase, demand remains strong for data center and automotive needs as those markets are robust. Given also the limits to supply capacity of the silicon wafers used as semiconductor materials, demand is expected to continue exceeding supply. In the case of 300 mm epitaxial wafers for leading-edge logic chips, which are a special focus of SUMCO, the inability of supply to keep up with demand is seen as continuing for an extended period.
Strong demand is forecast to continue also in the 200 mm wafer market, mainly for automotive needs.
As for wafers of 150 mm and smaller, the ongoing supply-demand tightness should ease somewhat.
In this market environment, the Group will go ahead with capital investment, as decided last year, in new plant building, utility equipment, and manufacturing equipment. We will further enhance the distinctive advantage of our products by developing technologies for state-of-the-art wafers for which continued strong demand growth is expected, while steadily carrying out productivity improvements making greater use of AI, so that we can meet customer needs.
At the same time, we will be paying close attention to the impacts on the global economy from a COVID-19 resurgence, geopolitical risks including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, monetary policy tightening by countries to curb inflation, and other factors.
Based on the above factors, for the fiscal year ending December 2022, in overall consideration of the profit levels in this period, the future outlook, funding needs for capital investment, and the status of internal reserves, an interim dividend amount of 36 yen per share has been decided, for a consolidated payout ratio of 40.2%.
I earnestly ask for your continued support and cooperation.
Mayuki Hashimoto, Representative Director
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
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