Infineon takes Q2 hit from chip unit Qimonda

The German electronic components maker Infineon reported on Wednesday a sharp net loss in the second quarter of its fiscal year, in large part owing to its loss-making chip unit Qimonda.

Infineon said its net loss had widened to €1.37 billion ($2.2 billion) in the period from January to end March, from a much more modest loss of €11 million in the same period a year earlier.

On Tuesday, the group announced that it was writing down by €1 billion the value in its books of Qimonda, in which Infineon holds a 77.5 percent stake that it seeks to sell in part before next year.

The Financial Times Deutschland quoted company and industry sources Wednesday as saying that talks were underway with the US group Micron, Elpida of Japan, the Korean group Hynix and financial investors.

Infineon might also contribute Qimonda to a cooperation venture rather than sell it outright, the report said.

Meanwhile, operations at Infineon itself posted mixed results, with second quarter sales gaining 7.0 percent to €1.049 billion, and core earnings (excluding Qimonda) reaching €36 million, compared with a loss a year ago.

But analysts noted that operating profit had fallen by almost half from the first quarter of the current fiscal year which began in October, and that sales had slipped as well.

The group’s outlook was only for “positive” core earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), and for sales to increase by between five and 10 percent.