German chip maker Infineon Tuesday posted a healthy profit for its fiscal year 2010 and rewarded its shareholders by paying out its first dividend for nine years.
Profits for the fiscal year to September 2010 were 659 million euros (895 million dollars), the technology giant said, compared to a loss of 626 million euros the year before.
For the fourth quarter, the firm smashed market expectations with profits of 390 million euros. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a profit of 213 million euros.
Annual sales hit 3.3 billion euros, up by more than 50 percent over the year. Fourth-quarter sales were 942 million euros.
"The company's growth during this upcycle remains significantly ahead of the market and our profitability has risen yet again," said Peter Bauer, Infineon's chief executive, in a statement.
Shareholders received a dividend of 0.10 euros per share due to the firm's "favourable operating performance" and "comfortable cash position", the statement added.
Infineon said it expected sales growth of "close to 10 percent" in 2011, depending on exchange rate developments.
It said the first quarter of the new fiscal year would be "flat to down slightly" compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.
Investors welcomed the result, pushing Infineon stock to the top of the gainers on Germany's DAX stock market. At 0830 GMT, the stock was up 1.13 percent while the wider market was down 0.63 percent.
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