The necessity to cut costs and rationalise production and ongoing operations by semiconductor equipment suppliers, large and small, continues with the news that ASM International is to accelerate for a second time in six-months the restructuring of its worldwide Front-end equipment operations. The company said that it would be increasing the pace of its cost reduction strategies by at least 40% by the target set for the first half of 2010. Job losses are included in the plan, though the company did not provide further details.
A restructuring charge of approximately €60 - €70 million, will largely be accounted for in the 2009 accounts and includes previously expected charges from restructuring plans. An inventory write-down has also been announced to the tune of between €20 to €25 million due to the protracted decline in capital spending and low fab utilisation rates.
The consolidation of its global ‘Front-end Manufacturing’ operations to Singapore is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, remains on-track while streamlining its global support operations.