'Positive signs' for chip world as ASML profits soar

'Positive signs' for chip world as ASML profits soar

Positive signs for ASML
Positive signs for ASML. Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP
Source: AFP

Dutch tech giant ASML, which supplies chipmaking machines to the semiconductor industry, reported Wednesday a rise in annual net profit despite a high-tech trade spat between China and the West.

Net profits came in at 7.8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) for 2023, the firm said in its annual results, compared to 5.6 billion euros the previous year.

"The semiconductor industry continues to work through the bottom of the cycle," CEO Peter Wennink said in a statement.

"Although our customers are still not certain about the shape of the semiconductor market recovery this year, there are some positive signs," he added.

ASML is one of the world's leading manufacturers of equipment to make state-of-the-art semiconductor chips, which power everything from mobile phones to cars.

But the semiconductor industry has become a geopolitical battleground, as the West seeks to restrict China's access over fears the chips could be used for advanced weaponry.

Read also

Europe's bike industry hits bumps as cycling craze cools

ASML announced earlier this month that it had been blocked from exporting "a small number" of its advanced machines to China, amid reports of US pressure on the Dutch government.

At the time, Beijing lashed out at what it called "bullying behaviour" by Washington, adding that it "seriously violates international trade rules".

China has described the restrictions placed on exports as "technological terrorism".

Amid the trade tensions with China, there are also concerns Beijing may introduce its own export controls on gallium and germanium -- two rare earth metals critical for the manufacture of semiconductors.

ASML has shrugged off the financial impact of the geopolitical headwinds, with top officials saying the firm is well placed to weather the storm.

'Significant growth' for 2025

The company has said it expects flat sales this year, which it has called a "transition year", before registering "significant growth" in 2025.

Read also

Asian markets mostly up, Hong Kong boosted by Alibaba rally

Overall net sales for 2023 came in at 27.6 billion euros, up from 21.1 billion euros in 2022.

The numbers for the fourth quarter were also slightly better than the firm had expected, with profits of 2.0 billion euros on sales of 7.2 billion euros.

ASML said its pipeline was also robust, with net bookings nearly tripling to 9.2 billion euros in the fourth quarter compared to 2.6 billion euros in the third.

"Our strong order intake in the fourth quarter clearly supports future demand," Wennink said.

However, net bookings were down for the year as a whole, at 20.0 billion euros compared to 30.6 billion euros in 2022.

The firm said sales in the first quarter of this year were expected to slow compared to the pace set in the fourth quarter of last year, with a forecast of 5.0 to 5.5 billion euros.

"In spite of the positive signs as described above, we maintain our conservative view for the total year and expect 2024 revenue to be similar to 2023," Wennink said.

Read also

ING targeted in new Dutch climate legal case

"We also expect 2024 to be an important year to prepare for significant growth that we expect for 2025."

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU - click on “Recommended for you” and enjoy!

Source: AFP

Authors:
AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel