South Korea-based SK Hynix returned to profit in the opening quarter of 2024 after a string of quarterly losses, highlighting the memory market is entering into a full recovery cycle driven by demand for AI server products.

The chipmaker forecast the memory segment is on a steady growth path in the coming months as demand for AI memory continues to rise, while the market for DRAM is expected to start to recover in H2. It said capex this year is expected to be “somewhat higher” than initially planned, without stating a figure.

In its earnings releasee, CFO Kim Woohyun said it “entered a clear recovery phase” following a prolonged downturn.

SK Hynix recorded a net profit of KRW1.9 trillion ($1.4 billion), compared with a loss of KRW2.6 trillion a year earlier. Revenue jumped 144 per cent to KRW12.4 trillion, marking an all-time high for a first quarter.

DRAM sales made up 61 per cent of total revenue, with server applications accounting for nearly half of DRAM turnover. NAND, with about 60 per cent going to mobile applications, accounted for 35 per cent of revenue. 

Yesterday (24 April) the company’s board also approved a plan to expand capacity of next-generation DRAM, including high-bandwidth memory (HBM), by starting construction of a new facility in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province, later this month. The KRW20 trillion facility, named M15X fab, is scheduled to be completed in late 2025.