COMPUTER firm Legend Holdings will develop its printed circuit board and semiconductor business to capitalise on a surge in global sales of personal computers (PC) this year. Company chairman Liu Chuan-zhi said PC sales worldwide amounted to US$86.38 billion last year, an increase of 24 per cent over 1993. He expected sales to grow a further 20 per cent this year. He said the group would benefit from the booming market by increasing output of printed circuit boards (PCB) and semiconductor products. 'Demand for PCBs and semiconductor products is very strong and is expected to continue to grow,' Mr Liu said. Legend set up a PCB factory in Huiyang, China, last year to lower production costs and increase its competitiveness. The company's chief financial officer, Ignatius Cheung, said the first phase development of the plant had begun and the products would now be used by the group. He said the second phase of expansion was under way and would end early next year. By then the factory would be able to supply other customers. 'The group is optimistic this new business will bring satisfactory returns,' he said. Global sales of semiconductor products climbed 28 per cent to US$109.7 billion last year. Legend has entered into a joint venture, Legend-Valence Holdings, in China for the design, development, manufacture and distribution of semiconductor products. Mr Cheung said the venture had secured design contracts from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Europe and the United States. He said the group remained a prominent player in the distribution of foreign computers and related products in China. The group supplied major computer retailers, resellers and corporate users through a network of over 200 distributors. PC sales in China rose 42 per cent to reach $1.07 billion last year. In view of the huge China market, Legend had established strategic alliances with major international computer vendors, including AST. Mr Cheung said a HK$1 billion memorandum of understanding with AST was signed in December last year. He said a new one was being negotiated and it would focus on the price, quantity and the shipment date of the products.