TAIPEI -- Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. said Wednesday its second-quarter net profit plunged 51 percent from a year earlier on slowing sales, and its newly appointed chief executive predicted a "more challenging" third-quarter than expected.
The company, the world's second-largest contract chip maker by revenue after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., said net profit for the three-months ended June 30 fell to 2.40 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$79.2 million) from NT$4.91 billion a year ago.
Revenue, at NT$25.2 billion (US$831.7 million), was up 0.6 percent from the same quarter in 2007.
Chief Executive Sun Shih-wei said the results reflected previous guidance, and offered little encouragement for the short term.
"Looking forward to the third quarter, we see that the environment is more challenging than previously expected," he said in a statement. "In general customers have adopted a cautious attitude due to the rising uncertainty in the global economy."
Reflecting that guidance, the company said that third quarter wafer shipments would be flat, and that the average selling price in the United States market -- almost 50 percent of the global total _ would hold steady to 2 percent lower.
It said that its capacity utilization rate would be about 80 percent.
UMC rival TMC is expected to announce its third-quarter results Thursday.