Thai integrated circuit packager Hana Microelectronics Pcl said on Monday fourth-quarter net profit and revenue would be higher than a year earlier and profitability would improve next year.

Demand in the fourth quarter is surprisingly high, Chief Executive Richard Han told reporters. We don't expect to see another crisis again. The fourth quarter this year will be better than last year for both revenue and net profit.

Hana, which counts U.S. electronics testing equipment maker Agilent Technologies Inc as a major client, reported a net profit of 336 million baht ($10 million) in the fourth quarter of last year.

Han attributed his optimism to rising demand for mobile telecoms and computer equipment. Mobile telecoms will be strong and computers will be also strong, helped by Windows 7 and touchpad screens ... Both are the big driver for next year.

He was referring to Microsoft Corp's recently launched operating system.

Hana's net profit fell 11.5 percent in the first nine months, hit by weak demand in the global electronic sector.

In the third quarter, the company posted a net profit of 688 million baht, up 19 percent from a year earlier.

Asked whether second-half earnings this year could offset the drop in the first half and give a rise in net earnings for 2009, Han said: We will try.

Six analysts forecast on average a 2.2 percent fall in 2009 revenue to 14.8 billion baht ($445.2 million) and forecast net profit would fall 3.1 percent to 1.85 billion baht, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hana was considering expanding capacity by building another plant in Ayudhya, which would take about two years and cost about 1.5 billion baht ($45.2 million), Han said, adding he expected a conclusion on the plan before the middle of next year.

Because the world is still recovering slowly and should take time, we are a little bit cautious about how we expand, he said.

Hana planned around $20 million in capital expenditure for 2010, up from $15 million this year.

The company recently rehired 1,700 employees to the similar level before the global financial crisis of 9,000, Han said. The company laid off 1,600 employees last year and in the first quarter.

Hana assembles small IC packages for a wide range of products, including microchips for mobile phones, hand-held computers and digital cameras.

It also makes parts for hearing aids, access control cards and electronic lighting for cars.

Its competitors include Malaysia's Unisem and other electronic parts makers in Singapore and China.

On Monday, Hana shares closed up 2.65 percent at 19.40 baht, while the stock rose 1.21 percent.

($1=33.18 Baht)

(Reporting by Arada Kultawanich; Editing by Jason Szep)