MEMC saw semiconductor wafer sales increase 26% last year on the back of market share gains, industry recovery and higher wafer pricing. Net sales for the fourth quarter were US$262.6 million in the sector and US$850.1 million overall. Segment operating profit was US$25.6 million, compared to US$26.2 million in the third quarter, and a loss of US$9.6 million in the prior year quarter.
In its quarterly conference call, management noted that polysilicon supply remained tight, but couldn’t say if the situation would last. Capacity expansion within the polysilicon sector has primarily focused on meeting the needs of the solar sector over the last few years.
MEMC noted that plans for plant closures in the U.S. had been delayed to meet demand. Market share gains of between 1 and 2% are expected in 2011 as previously announced production expansions in Malyasia come online and production reaches 15,000MT.
Customer qualifications from the Malaysian plant were ongoing, according to the company. No mention was made of 450mm wafer development.