ASML pulls in record chipmaking equipment orders as global shortage bites

    ASML has reported record net orders for its semiconductor manufacturing machinery as technology groups worldwide strive to get their hands on computer chips amid a global shortage.

    The Dutch lithography equipment manufacturer generated profits of €1.41bn in the second quarter, compared with €1.1bn during the same period a year earlier. Revenues were €5.4bn, up from €4bn in 2021.

    Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted profits of €1.44bn, while revenues beat forecasts of just under €5.3bn.

    ASML dominates the global market for lithography machines used to make advanced semiconductors. Its machines are used to etch circuits into silicon wafers.

    The group has benefited from soaring demand for computer chips since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been considering how to boost supply to meet the needs of chipmakers’ multibillion-dollar expansion plans.

    ASML’s efforts come as the global semiconductor industry accelerates investment in new production. Analysts expect the market to double to $1tn by 2030. Intel and Samsung have both said they will invest up to $150bn by the end of the decade, in Europe, the US and South Korea.

    Flagging demand for electronics has dented the profits in recent weeks at some chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics. ASML, however, said that demand for its machinery had not been affected. Net bookings came in at €8.5bn for the quarter, a record for the company.

    “We still see strong demand for our systems, driven by global megatrends in automotive, high-performance computing and green energy transition,” said chief executive Peter Wennink.

    In April, Wennink warned that chipmakers would face a two-year shortage of critical equipment, as the supply chains struggled to keep up with production demands.

    “Next year and the year after there will be shortages,” Wennink said at the time. “We’re going to ship more machines this year than last year and . . . more machines next year than this year. But it will not be enough if we look at the demand curve. We really need to step up our capacity significantly more than 50 per cent. That will take time.”

    On Thursday, the group said that soaring global inflation had affected earnings.

    The company lowered its revenue growth forecast for the full year to 10 per cent, which it blamed on delayed recognition of some sales. It earned €3.54 a share.

    ASML shares were up 1.3 per cent in midday trading.

    Additional reporting by Madhumita Murgia

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