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Infineon Q1 operating profit jumps 30% on automotive chips

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Auto and industrial chip maker Infineon's fiscal first-quarter operating profit rose 30 per cent, helped by its automotive unit, whose chips activate car airbags and enable cruise control.

[FRANKFURT] Auto and industrial chip maker Infineon's fiscal first-quarter operating profit rose 30 per cent, helped by its automotive unit, whose chips activate car airbags and enable cruise control.

The German company's operating profit, excluding special items, for the quarter ending in December rose to 220 million euros (S$341 million) from 169 million last year.

That was above consensus for 212 million euros in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts whose forecasts ranged from 208 million to 225 million euros.

"We are doing particularly well in the automotive business," Infineon's chief executive Reinhard Ploss said in a statement.

"Our solutions for driver assistance systems continue to generate growth. Electromobility is gaining momentum as well." Infineon, whose chips also manage power supplies and cut vehicle emissions, said on Tuesday it expected second-quarter revenue to rise between 1 and 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter with an operating margin of 13 per cent at the mid-point of that range.

For the full fiscal year 2015/16 it still expects revenues to rise between 11 and 15 per cent, with an operating margin of 16 per cent.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect revenues to rise by 13.3 per cent to 6.57 billion euros this year, with a 16.5 per cent rise in operating profit to 1.05 billion.

Shares in Infineon were indicated to open 3.3 per cent lower at the bottom of the German blue chip index, which is seen 0.4 per cent lower, according to pre-market data from brokerage Lang & Schwarz.

The stock has lost 9 per cent so far this year, but is still up almost 50 per cent from its one-year low in August.

This compares with a 6 per cent drop year to date by the European technology index. The index is up less than a fifth from August last year.

REUTERS