Chunghwa Precision Test Technology Co (CHPT, 中華精測), which provides wafer and chip testing services, yesterday said net profit last quarter rose 38.4 percent annually thanks to a seasonal pickup and rising demand for 5G chips.

Net profit was NT$248 million (US$8.17 million) in the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, jumping from NT$179 million in the same period last year.

Last quarter’s figure set a record and more than doubled the second quarter’s NT$118 million.

Earnings per share last quarter expanded to NT$7.55, from NT$5.45 a year earlier and NT$3.59 in the previous quarter.

Gross margin rose to 54.8 percent, from 50.1 percent a year earlier and 51.9 percent a quarter earlier.

“The results for the third quarter are in line with the normal peak season for the industry,” CHPT said in a statement.

As 5G commercialization accelerates worldwide, demand for semiconductor testing interface products is rising, the company said.

The interfaces are used in a wide range of 5G-enabled chips, from application processor and radio frequency chips to modem and networking chips, the company said.

CHPT said it plans to invest more on cutting-edge technology to capture new 5G and artificial intelligence markets.

It budgeted NT$1.45 billion for capital expenditure this year, more than doubling last year’s NT$720 million.

The company’s new vertical probe card has also begun making a meaningful contribution to revenue last quarter, it said.

The cards have primarily been adopted by radio frequency and networking chip customers, it added.

CHPT counts Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) chip design arm, Hisilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) among its major clients.

As the semiconductor industry has entered its slow season, CHPT last month said it expected a mild correction in revenue this quarter, from last quarter’s NT$1.1 billion.

However, revenue would still see some support from increasing demand for 5G-related chips, it said.

CHPT is one of few companies in the world that provide semiconductor testing interface technology for 5G chips supporting low frequencies, or sub-6 gigahertz, and high-frequency millimeter-wave bands.

The company said low-frequency 5G chips started to contribute to revenue in the middle of this year.