Taiwan-based chipmaker TSMC raised its revenue growth forecast and capex budget for 2021 after recording double-digit gains in profit and sales in the first quarter.

In an earnings call, CFO Wendell Huang said it will boost 2021 capex to $30 billion from $17.1 billion in 2020 and up on a previous allocation of $25 billion to $28 billion.

It spent $8.8 billion during Q1, up 28.8 per cent year-on-year.

The contract chipmaker is a major supplier for Apple and Qualcomm, and warned a global chip shortage would likely persist until 2022, which prompted its capex decision.

With continued supply uncertainties, Huang said it expects customers to prepare higher levels of inventories, resulting in its capacity remaining tight throughout the year.

Net profit in Q1 increased 19.4 per cent to TWD139.7 billion ($4.9 billion). Consolidated revenue rose 16.7 per cent to TWD362.4 billion, with strong demand for its high-performance computing (HPC) chips offsetting weaker sales of smartphone components.

The company forecast revenue in the current quarter would rise 24 per cent to 27 per cent to between $12.9 billion and $13.2 billion, and raised its full-year guidance to about 20 per cent growth from the mid-teens predicted in January.

Smartphone chips accounted for 45 per cent of total revenue in Q1 compared with 49 per cent in the comparable 2020 period, with HPC up from 30 per cent to 35 per cent.

Revenue from its IoT and automotive platforms remained at 9 per cent and 4 per cent of sales respectively.

Sales to China dropped from 22 per cent to 6 per cent, with North America up from 56 per cent to 67 per cent and Asia Pacific rising from 11 per cent to 17 per cent.