FRANKFURT, April 27 (Reuters) - Struggling Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics sees its business picking up and is increasingly optimistic about its financial performance for the remainder of the year, Chief Executive Carlo Bozotti said on Wednesday.
"We have started to see signs of some improvement in the semiconductor market," Bozotti told investors on a conference call following the company's first-quarter results. "We enter the second quarter with a higher level of optimism," he said.
Bozotti said this would lead to improved second-half results this year, both in terms of revenue and profits.
Earlier, the loss-making chipmaker reported first-quarter revenue growth in its automotive division that limited the impact of weaker sales in other units. Net revenue dropped 3.3 percent to $1.613 billion. The net loss stood at $41 million.
"This improvement was most visible in automotive and industrial," he added. First-quarter automotive and microcontroller revenues, excluding currency effects, both rose 4 percent from the year-earlier quarter.
STMicro shares were up 5 percent at 5.47 euros in Paris trading at 0815 GMT. (Editing by Maria Sheahan)