* Company to focus on sustainable GAAP net profit
* Expects formal notification on India chip plant in coming weeks
By Tova Cohen
TEL AVIV, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Israeli chip manufacturer TowerJazz is targeting annual revenue run-rate of $1 billion a year by 2015, its chief executive Russell Ellwanger said.
The company, which has plants in Israel, the United States and Japan, had revenue of $639 million in 2012.
“We would have to accelerate growth (to reach this goal),” Ellwanger told Reuters on the sidelines of a company symposium. “Our biggest focus is on sustainable GAAP net profit.”
Ellwanger believes this will be achieved when the company reaches quarterly revenue of $190 million to $200 million.
TowerJazz had a net loss on a GAAP basis in the second quarter of $23 million and has had few profitable quarters on a GAAP basis in recent years due to heavy investments in its second chip plant in Israel.
The company has forecast revenue in the third quarter of $130 million to $140 million, compared with $125 million in the second quarter.
TowerJazz, which makes chips used in smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy models as well as battery chargers and AC/DC adapters, expects to start seeing revenue next year from an anticipated contract to build a plant in India.
TowerJazz is part of one of two consortiums that have proposed building semiconductor plants in India.
TowerJazz’s consortium includes India’s Jaiprakash Associates and IBM. The group has proposed a plant near New Delhi at a cost of about $4 billion.
Ellwanger said he expects a formal government notification regarding a contract will be made in the next few weeks.
Groundbreaking on the plant could be about six months later and it would take two years for silicon to start and three years to begin shipping revenue wafers, Ellwanger said.
TowerJazz’s share in revenue from the construction and running of the plant would be $300 million over eight years, according to Israeli media reports.
TowerJazz will also be able to use part of the facility for its own products, enabling it to penetrate the Indian market.