Infineon to pay first dividend in a decade

 
City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN chipmaker Infineon plans to pay shareholders its first dividend for a decade, underlining confidence in the future after clawing its way back from the downturn.

Chief executive Peter Bauer, a life-long chip specialist who grew into the role of
restructurer, said Infineon planned to pay out dividends on a regular basis just like other companies.

Infineon, whose chips can be found in mobile handsets ranging from Nokia to Apple, said its management will recommend a dividend per share of €0.10, as it reported strong fourth-quarter results.

The proposed dividend is above the average forecast of €0.08 per share in a Reuters poll of analyst. Infineon last paid a dividend for the financial year 1999/2000.

In addition, Infineon will consider a share buyback of up to 10 per cent of outstanding shares.

Fourth-quarter sales were €942m (£793m), up 55 per cent year-on-year. Its segment result, excluding its wireless operations, was €171m, up 33 per cent.

Chief executive Bauer also addressed investor hopes of a special dividend from proceeds of an asset sale, saying Infineon will pass on more money to shareholders if “we do not know what to do with our cash”. It sold its wireless chip unit to bigger rival Intel for $1.4bn in August.

The company struck an optimistic tone for the coming financial year, saying it expects revenue growth of almost 10 per cent and an operating margin in the mid to high teens percentage of sales. Still, Bauer said, there was an element of caution built into the outlook.