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Chip-tech maker ASML posts growth despite COVID-19

Agence France-Presse

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Chip-tech maker ASML posts growth despite COVID-19

An employee walks past an ASML logo, a Dutch company which is currently the largest supplier in the world of semiconductor manufacturing machines via photolithography systems in Veldhoven on April 17, 2018. They call it "the shrink" -- it's the challenge of how to pack more information onto the microchips which power everything from our phones to our computers, even our coffee machines. And pushing today's boundaries of science and technology is the Dutch company ASML, which since its foundation in 1984 has quietly become a world leader in the semiconductor business. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND


'We have seen no major disruptions due to COVID-19 during the last quarter,' ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink says

Dutch microchip machine maker ASML reported on Wednesday, October 14, it had greater than expected sales during the third quarter, saying it sees the tech sector still fueling demand despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The company is the world’s leading provider of systems used by the semiconductor industry to manufacture the chips that go in products from mobile phones to cars, and its performance is seen as a bellwether for the IT industry.

“We have seen no major disruptions due to COVID-19 during the last quarter,” ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said in an earnings statement.

Sales rose by 33% from the same quarter last year to 4.0 billion euros ($4.7 billion) – which Wennink said was “above our guidance” – and 19% from the second quarter.

Net profits also rose by 69% to 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from last year, and were up 41% from the second quarter.

The company shipped 10 of its top-level Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) machines, its top-end product used to print chips for mobile phones and computers, Wennink said.

Worth around 120 million euros each, these machines which are the size of a small bus, make it possible to produce smaller, faster and higher capacity microprocessors.

ASML forecasts sales to be slightly lower in the fourth quarter at between 3.6 and 3.8 billion euros but said that would confirm its outlook for the whole of 2020.

Wennink said the company expects “low double-digit growth” in 2021.

“There are of course uncertainties due to the macro environment, including the economic impact of COVID-19 and geopolitical developments,” he said.

But the tech factors driving ASML’s growth such as the 5G network that Apple’s new iPhones will rely on are “still in place” and will “fuel demand”, he said.

Based in Veldhoven, near the southern Dutch border with Belgium, ASML employs around 25,000 people and has offices in 60 cities and 16 countries. –

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