SK hynix Inc. the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, said Thursday it swung to a net loss in the first quarter due to an industry-wide slump that hurt sales and prices.
Net loss amounted to 271.2 billion won ($238.3 million) in the January-March period, a turnaround from a profit of 273.5 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Sales dropped 14.5 percent on-year to 2.38 trillion won in the first quarter, while the company posted an operating loss of 259.9 billion won.
"Industry-wide conditions caused prices of both DRAM and NAND flash memory chips to fall during the three-month period, which hurt the bottom line," the company said. The average price for DRAM and NAND chips fell 10 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
SK hynix, however, said with the company making a smooth transition to produce more value-added and high-tech chips, business conditions should improve in the future.
The company, formerly Hynix Semiconductor Inc., was incorporated into SK Group, South Korea's third-largest conglomerate in late March. It vies with bigger rival Samsung Electronics Co. in the global DRAM chip market and with Japan-based Toshiba Corp. in the NAND flash memory market.
Shares of the chipmaker were trading at 27,250 won on the Seoul bourse as of 9:45 a.m., up 0.74 percent from Wednesday's close.