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Industry downturn catches up with ASML

15 January 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Lithography

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Lithography leader ASML has finally been impacted by the downturn in the semiconductor industry, posting a full-year revenue drop of 21.6% in 2008, compared to 2007. Net sales were €2.95 billion, compared to €3.76 billion in 2007. The company cited a virtual halt in capital spending in the fourth quarter of 2008 as well as a slowing of technology node migrations in the memory sector, causing order push-outs and the threat of tool order cancellations in 2009 from its backlog valued at €755 million.

Net bookings in the fourth quarter reached €127 million, comprising 13 lithography systems including 5 new and 8 used systems, the company said. ASML shipped a total of 151 systems, including 115 new and 36 used lithography systems in 2008.

In Q4 2008, ASML saw sales of €494 million, which included 15 new and 10 used systems. The Q4 2008 average selling price for a new system was €20.4 million, compared with €21.6 in the previous quarter. The average selling price for all ASML systems sold was €15.2 million, compared with €16.0 million in the previous quarter.

Key markets such as NAND and DRAM proved ASML’s downfall in the quarter. According to the company, NAND flash capital spending stopped and a 20% reduction in production output is expected in the first quarter of 2009. Although the ramp of 4xnm node continues, ASML noted that the 3xnm ramp had slowed.

In DRAM, especially in Taiwan, the moves to secure the future of a consolidated memory market have meant a complete halt on capital spending. The migration to 5xnm technology has slowed at tier 2 DRAM manufacturers as liquidity issues and lack of access to funds restricts spending.

ASML also noted that the major foundries were suffering from low utilization rates and a slowing of the transition to the 4xnm node.

As a result of the market conditions, ASML posted a loss of €88 million in the quarter. The company did not provide guidance for 2009, noting that it was impossible to predict when a market recovery would start.

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Reader comments

Why asml is using flex model when it is more expensive ? Is it better to pay 9000 euro agency then 3000 euro employee.
By nano@semi on 19 January 2009
From asml.com -> "ASML still has an extensive pool of flexible contracts" Expensive, so why they are using flex model and paying 3-4 times more agency for employee ?
By Semitech@com on 16 January 2009

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