LONDON Fourth quarter sales and profits came in as expected in the fourth quarter financial results for leading chip making equipment vendor ASML Lithography NV.
ASML (Veldhoven, The Netherlands) announced net sales of 1,023 million euro (about $1.36 billion) compared with 1,229 million euro (about $1.64 billion) in 3Q12 and 1,221 (about $1.63 billion) in 4Q11. The company's net profit for 4Q12 was 298 million euro (about $397 million), up from 275 million (about $367 million) in 3Q12 and 285 million euro (about $378 million) in 4Q11.
However, sales of new systems declined to 25 units in the quarter from 32 the previous quarter and net bookings excluding extreme ultra violet lithography machines also declined from 33 units to 32 units. As a result ASML reported its backlog both in terms of value and units declined in the fourth quarter. The average selling price of booked systems, again excluding EUV, also declined to 20.9 million euro (about $28 million) from 25.2 million euro (about $34 million) in the 3Q12.
"2012 fourth-quarter and full year sales and profit came in as expected, making the year our second best ever. The high level of sales was mainly supported by the large 28-32 nanometer capacity investment made by the foundry industry, while memory capacity investments represented only 25 percent of total net sales, never really picking up, as its major driver, the PC business, shrunk compared to 2011. We plan net sales for 2013 at a similar level to that of 2012, with a slow Q1 start, recovering in Q2 and a relatively large second half," said Eric Meurice, CEO of ASML, in a statement.
Meurice attributed the slow start but strong full year perspective to the need for chipmakers to invest in the 14-nm/20-nm foundry and logic nodes for which chip designs are in preparation and that ASML start shipping NXE:3300B EUV tools in Q2 and is targeting a total of up to 11 EUV units in 2013 representing a net sales value of about 700 million euro (about $935 million).
ASML said it expects net sales of about 850 million euro (about $1.13 billion) for the first quarter of 2013.
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