SK Hynix, the South Korean memory-chip maker, has reported a return to operating profit in the final quarter of 2023. This comes after four consecutive quarters of operating losses and signifies a recovery in the global semiconductor industry. The company recorded an operating profit of 346.03 billion Korean won ($259.5 million) for the quarter that ended in December. This is in contrast to an operating loss of KRW1.912 trillion during the same period the previous year.

The increased demand for powerful computing chips, particularly those used in AI servers and mobile applications, has contributed to SK Hynix's improved performance. This surge in demand has also led to higher average selling prices and boosted the company's sales.

Despite the positive operating profit, SK Hynix experienced a net loss in the final quarter and also for the entirety of 2023. This is due to the ongoing industry downturn which the company has yet to fully recover from. However, the net loss for the quarter has narrowed to KRW1.379 trillion from KRW3.735 trillion in the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue rose by 47% to KRW11.306 trillion.

For the full year of 2023, SK Hynix's revenue fell by 27% to KRW32.766 trillion, resulting in a net loss of KRW9.138 trillion and an operating loss of KRW7.730 trillion.

Looking ahead to 2024, SK Hynix plans to improve its profitability through the sale of value-added products while continuing to develop advanced AI and other high-performance chips. The company also aims to keep its capital-expenditure increase minimal to ensure stable business operations.

Analysts are optimistic about SK Hynix's prospects for recovery this year, as they anticipate a rebound in demand and prices.

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