South Korea-based chipmaker SK Hynix put on a brave face after another quarter of falling profitability and revenue, highlighting a gradual recovery in demand and plans to boost capex in 2024 after slashing the outlay earlier this year. 

On its Q3 earning call, CFO Kim Woohyun noted growing demand for high-performance memory chips contributed to a lower rate of decline in sales.

Chip demand was driven by flagship smartphone launches and a surge in AI server deployments.

“We believe the memory industry is finally passing through the severe downturn and is entering the stage of full recovery.”

Kim noted it aims to minimise the capex increase by considering investment efficiency and financial stability.

The company booked a net loss of KRW2.2 trillion ($1.6 billion) compared with a profit of KRW1.1 trillion in Q3 2022, while revenue fell 17 per cent to KRW9.1 trillion.

Kim said cuts in chip production are helping to stabilise prices, with DRAM increasing about 10 per cent and NAND declining slightly.

With uncertainty in the global economy delaying a recovery in demand for memory, he noted growth for Q4 was revised downward to a mid-single-digit percentage for DRAM and a high single digit for NAND.

It forecast high-teen percentage growth for both in 2024.

He stated securing waivers on US export controls “significantly resolves” the uncertainly of its operations in China since it is able to import specific equipment without applying for a licence.