ASML Holding’s orders rose in the second quarter as demand for its chip-making machines is picking up, signalling optimism that a slump in the semiconductor industry may be nearing an end.
Europe’s most valuable technology company reported order bookings of €4.5-billion in April to June, ASML said in a statement on Wednesday. That is 20% higher from the previous quarter and beat an average estimate of €3.98-billion among analysts polled by Bloomberg.
The company raised its full-year guidance, and now expects net sales in 2023 to grow toward 30%, CEO Peter Wennink said in the statement.
ASML, which is the leading producer of the lithography equipment needed to produce semiconductors for the most advanced smartphones and computers, said total demand continues to outstrip capacity for its machinery.
While ASML maintains an order backlog, the semiconductor industry has slowed as inflation and recession fears last year triggered a rapid pullback on consumer and business spending that’s hammered sales of electronics worldwide. Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics reported its worst decline in quarterly revenue since at least 2009.
Last week, ASML said it plans to slow hiring this year amid the downturn in the chip industry, after it added 10 000 employees in 2022.
ASML has also been impacted by the US bid to curb exports of cutting-edge technology to China, its third-biggest market. Pressure from US President Joe Biden’s administration pushed the Dutch government last month to announce plans to prohibit ASML from shipping some so-called immersion deep ultraviolet lithography machines, its second most capable machinery, to China without a licence.
ASML is already prohibited from selling its most sophisticated technology, so-called extreme ultraviolet lithography, to Chinese companies.
In addition to the Dutch controls, the US is expected to bar ASML from selling DUV lithography gear to about half a dozen of Chinese plants without approval from Washington. — Cagan Koc, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP