July 19, 2024
China still ASML’s biggest market, but falling sales cause drop in profit

Amid the semiconductor industry’s slowdown and increasing geopolitical tensions, Dutch chip machine-maker ASML reported a decrease both in sales and profits.

Europe’s most valuable tech company saw orders fall to €3.6bn in the first quarter of 2024, down from €9.2bn in the previous quarter. Its net profit also dropped to €1.2bn — a 37% decrease compared to Q4 2023.

“We see 2024 as a transition,” ASML’s President and CEO Peter Wennink said in a statement.

Wennink expects a stronger second half of the year “in line with the industry’s continued recovery from the downturn.”

Interestingly, China represented ASML’s largest market in Q1 2024, accounting for 49% of the company’s sales. That’s despite ASML’s entanglement in an escalating chip war between the US and China, which has led to export restrictions.

The latest measures, which came into effect in January, prohibit ASML from selling certain deep ultraviolet lithography (DUV) machines (the ones behind the production of less advanced chips) to China.

ASML expects that the restrictions will impact approximately 15% of sales in China. Sales in the first quarter of this year were down €300mn compared to the previous quarter.

The Dutch tech giant forecasts global net sales between €5.7bn and €6.2bn for the second quarter. It reached €6.9bn in the same period last year.

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