July 13, 2011 9:39 am

ASML predicts slowdown for semiconductors

Dutch chip lithography manufacturer ASML reported strong sales in the second quarter, but said new orders in the third quarter would be significantly lower, lending weight to reports of slowdowns in the semiconductor industry.

The world’s largest maker of semiconductor lithography equipment – which is used in the manufacture of semiconductors – reported sales rose to €1.529bn ($2.15bn), up 5.3 per cent from the first quarter and 36 per cent year on year. Net profit was €432m, up 9.4 per cent from the first quarter and 81 per cent year on year.

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Earnings per share rose to €1.00, up 85 per cent year on year.

But new orders for the second quarter stayed flat at €840m, and the picture is likely to worsen later this year, said Peter Wennink, chief financial officer. The company expects new orders to fall to €500m or less in the third quarter.

“Customers have become more hesitant,” Mr Wennink said. He cited lower-than-expected sales of consumer electronic devices over the past year, and increased macroeconomic uncertainty.

Shares were down 5.7 per cent to €24.23 in morning trading on the Amsterdam exchange.

ASML said it continues to expect record sales for the year of more than €5bn.

“It is clear the industry is headed for a slowdown,” said Victor Bareno of SNS Securities.

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