FRANKFURT -- German chipmaker Infineon reported a 12 percent rise in first-quarter profit on strong demand for its chips from automakers and stuck to its full-year forecast for revenue growth and profit margin.
Infineon's automotive unit accounts for more than 40 percent of revenues at the company, which on Thursday posted an operating profit, excluding special items, of 246 million euros ($265 million) for the quarter ending in December.
That was above the highest estimate in a Reuters poll with an average forecast of 232 million euros, while revenues of 1.65 billion euros were also better than expected.
"In the first quarter revenue and earnings were better than expected, driven in particular by strong demand for our components for automotive electronics and MOSFET power transistors," CEO Reinhard Ploss said.
First-quarter sales from the autos unit, whose chips are used in one in every 15 cars worldwide, booked a 15-percent revenue rise, while its operating profit rose 58 percent.
Infineon said it still expected revenues for the fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, to rise by some 6 percent to 6.86 billion euros, with an operating margin of about 16 percent, which was in line with analysts' expectations.
Chips made by Infineon are used by carmakers including Tesla and Hyundai as well as auto suppliers Continental and Bosch to activate airbags, enable cruise control, manage power supplies and cut emissions.
Infineon is the world's second largest semiconductor supplier to the car sector, with a market share of 10.4 percent according to Strategy Analytics, behind NXP with 14.2 percent.