Thanks to 5G, artificial intelligence and high-quality computer systems, ASML continues to record high turnover even during the corona crisis. Even higher than expected.
Chip machine maker ASML further increased turnover and profit in the third quarter. Technology companies continue to do well during the corona crisis, partly thanks to increased working from home, which also stimulates the demand for increasingly advanced chips. ASML is a supplier to almost all major chip makers in the world.
Sales in the third quarter amounted to almost 4 billion euros, compared to 3.3 billion euros in the previous quarter. The Veldhoven-based company thus exceeded its own expectations that it expressed in the previous quarterly figures. Net profit rose to 1.1 billion euros, compared to 751 million euros in the second quarter.
Continued high demand for advanced chips
Two well-known customers of ASML, the South Korean Samsung and the Taiwanese TSMC, recently released figures indicating the continued high demand for advanced chips. With the ultramodern EUV machines, ASML supplies the equipment that makes it possible to make much smaller and more powerful semiconductors than was previously possible.
According to financial CEO Roger Dassen, the increase in turnover is partly due to chip machines that were delivered in the previous quarter, but the proceeds of which are only now included in the quarterly results. That tailwind for ASML is also reflected in the number of orders it received. All orders received together amount to almost 2.9 billion euros, compared to 1.1 billion euros in the previous quarter.
No more logistical problems
Logistical problems caused by the corona pandemic are no longer an issue, says Dassen in an interview published by ASML. For the whole of 2020, the company is therefore assuming a turnover that was forecast at the beginning of the year, before the global virus outbreak.
Nevertheless, there are also uncertainties that ASML has to deal with. For example, a slow recovery from the pandemic economic downturn could eventually also affect technology companies. In addition, the rising tensions between China and the United States play a role. For example, the US recently imposed trade sanctions on China’s largest chipmaker, who is also a customer of ASML.
According to ASML, this means that direct deliveries of machines from the Netherlands to that Chinese customer can continue, but that an export license is required for direct deliveries of parts from the US. However, these are machines of the ‘older’ generation. ASML is still waiting for a Dutch export license for China for the export of EUV machines.
US-China trade dispute
CEO Peter Wennink is also making a prediction for next year. “We expect growth of just over 10 percent for 2021. Of course there are uncertainties in the world chip market, including the economic impact of the corona virus and world political developments. ” With the latter he refers, among other things, to the trade dispute between the US and China which, among other things, has led to the large Chinese customer SMIC in America possibly ending up on a blacklist.
Nevertheless, Wennink is optimistic. “The big drivers behind the chip market, such as 5G mobile communication, artificial intelligence and high-quality computer systems, are still there. They create a high demand for complex calculation and memory chips, which require the best chip machines. ”
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