TSMC expects virus incident to impact 3% of 3Q18 revenues

TSMC expects virus incident to impact 3% of 3Q18 revenues

A computer virus outbreak has hit third-quarter results at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd, the world's largest contract chipmaker, the company said on Sunday.

Media reports said three TSMC foundries, located in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan, had come under attack from a virus on Friday evening, forcing shutdowns of the production lines, while some reports suggested the incident had been the work of hackers from outside.

Major tech companies in Taiwan, which form a crucial part of the global electronics supply chain, usually enter a busier period in the second half of the year ahead of tech gadget launches. It remained to be seen whether the problem would affect the delivery of semiconductors to its clients, reports said. The company expects the downtime to negatively impact its third quarter revenue by 3 percent, and its gross margin by a single percentage point.

It said it is confident shipments delayed in the third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter of 2018, and it maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in U.S. dollars given on July 19, 2018. "TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures", it said.

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The company said that a number of its computer systems and fab tools had been infected. It said the degree of infection varied by fab and it contained the problem and found a solution.

It is unclear how the lost days of output would affect the Taiwanese firm, the latest to fall prey to a growing scourge. That helped the market look past a reduced revenue outlook.

Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei had said TSMC's sales will rise this year by a high single-digit percentage in U.S. dollar terms, down from an already reduced projection of about 10 per cent.

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