Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (ASMC), a mainland chipmaker partially owned by Royal Phillips Electronics, swung to a net profit of 22.13 million yuan in the first half as sales of eight-inch wafers surged nearly 50 per cent, helping drive up its fabrication facility's utilisation rate. The Shanghai-based chipmaker said revenue jumped 51.8 per cent to 653.82 million yuan from 430.71 million yuan a year ago. The firm makes five-inch, six-inch and eight-inch wafers at two fabrication plants in Shanghai. The company posted a net loss of 39.38 million yuan in the year-ago period. 'Last year was our peak year of capital expenditure investment,' president Tony Liu said. 'This year we are beginning to enjoy the harvest. For the second half we will continue to be profitable.' Utilisation rate at its two fabrication plants rose to 69 per cent in the second quarter, from 62 per cent in the first three months of this year. It should climb further to more than 70 per cent in this quarter, Mr Liu said. Financing costs in the first half tripled to about 32.4 million yuan, thanks to a one-time payment to banks for refinancing a loan, he said. The Hong Kong-listed company will pay no interim dividend. Mr Liu said ASMC had not yet decided on future dividend policy. Under the terms of a US$100 million syndicated loan, the company could pay no more than 25 per cent of its after-tax profit in dividends over the next three years, he added. The company, which makes chips under contract for shareholder Phillips as well as Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor, gets more than half of its sales from North America. Shares of ASMC fell 0.8 per cent to HK$1.24 yesterday.