ASMLs order volume increased 35 times in the quarter and
Hardware

ASML’s order volume increased 3.5 times in the quarter and China became the largest buyer of its chip production equipment

The Dutch company ASML remains the largest manufacturer of lithography scanners – devices necessary for the production of semiconductor components. In the last quarter, the monetary order volume was increased 3.5 times compared to the previous three months of the year to a record value of 9.2 billion euros.

    Image source: ASML

Image source: ASML

As explained BloombergIn numerical terms, the order volume rose from 2.6 to 9.19 billion euros in the last quarter. Demand was driven primarily by state-of-the-art lithography scanners. Last year, ASML’s revenue rose 30% to 27.6 billion euros, and CEO Peter Wennink said this was the peak of the rise and would not be repeated this year.

It is noteworthy that industry analysts estimated ASML’s order backlog in the fourth quarter to be around 3.6 billion euros, but it was actually almost three times as large. Of the total of 9.19 billion euros, 5.6 billion euros were accounted for by modern systems for working with EUV lithography. The company’s chief financial officer, Roger Dassen, explained that customer inventory levels are nearing normal and are definitely at better levels than a few quarters ago.

High demand from Chinese chipmakers for ASML lithography equipment throughout 2023 allowed the company to offset the negative impact of the crisis in the global economy on its own sales. While Chinese customers accounted for just 8% of ASML’s sales in the first quarter of last year, their share grew to 39% in the fourth quarter, making China the largest market for the company’s products. By the way, in the third quarter, China’s share reached 46% of ASML sales, so in the fourth quarter there was a slight decrease due to the entry into force of new sanctions. South Korea remains ASML’s second largest market with 25% of total sales, Taiwan accounts for 13%, the USA 11% and Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA) together 8% of the company’s sales, their share did not exceed the previous quarter 1 %. The order flow from Taiwan and the USA was observed not only in China but also in the EMEA region.

Citigroup analysts expected ASML’s backlog to grow in the first half of this year, but this happened a little earlier, in the last quarter. ASML’s business will also grow next year. In the last quarter, the company’s sales increased from 6.67 to 7.24 billion euros compared to the previous quarter. This year, ASML management estimates that up to 15% of the company’s Chinese sales will suffer from previously imposed US export restrictions. Amid the positive earnings, ASML shares rose 7.5% in Amsterdam, their biggest gain since November 2022.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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