Infineon sees gloomy 2012 as consumer demand remains low

German chipmaker Infineon said its full-year revenue would likely fall, hit by a slowing economy and growing caution among customers in industrial and chip card markets.

The company, which makes chips for products ranging from cars to electronic passports, said it expected revenue to be a mid-single digit percentage below last year.

It also lowered its first-quarter sales outlook to a fall of about 10 per cent, more gloomy than the outlook it gave a few weeks ago for a mid-to-high single digit drop for this quarter.

The firm said: “The company has observed increasing caution also on the part of customers in the typical late-cycle high power businesses such as, for example, industrial drives.”

Infineon echoed comments from rivals Broadcom and Texas Instruments, which also have exposure to industrial segments. Both said last month that revenue could slip on weaker demand this quarter.

Infineon, which published results last month, confirmed total profits for the fourth quarter at €195m (£166m), below the €212m reached in the previous quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue was flat at €472m as customer demand remained muted.