For the time being, ASMI does not foresee any problems when export restrictions to China are tightened.
That’s what CEO Benjamin Loh of the Dutch supplier of machines for the production of semiconductors tells the Financieele Dagblad (the Dutch equivalent of the Financial Times). According to the chip machine manufacturer, it now has an idea of what the new Dutch export restrictions for chip technology to China will look like. After all, the new regulations, which seem to be mainly aimed at competitor ASML’s technology, also apply to ASMI’s machines.
However, the producer of semiconductor machines is in talks with the Dutch government about this. According to the company, many of the machines that would fall under the restrictions are not manufactured in the Netherlands, but in Singapore. There are no export restrictions to China there. However, the company does suffer from U.S. export restrictions, which cost three percent of total sales.
In the longer term, the tightened export rules could potentially cause some problems. If Chinese chip manufacturers can no longer get U.S. machines or ASML’s, it also makes no sense to purchase other machines, such as ASMI’s, for these manufacturing processes. Many of the company’s Chinese customers are holding off on ordering because they first want to make sure they can get the chip manufacturing machines they need.
Recently, the semiconductor manufacturing machine manufacturer also announced its fourth-quarter and full-year figures for 2022. Total sales of 725 million euros were recorded in the last quarter of last year. This was as much as 48 percent higher than in the same period in 2021. In the fourth quarter of last year, the company had 826.6 million euros worth of orders on its books.
Sales for all of 2022 came in at 2.4 billion euros. This is higher than ever before and clearly a cause of the high global demand for chips last year. For the first quarter of this year, the manufacturer expects sales of between 660 million euros and 700 million euros. At the beginning of 2023, orders amounting to 1.7 billion euros were outstanding.
To the FD, ASMI further indicates that this year it wants to invest mainly for the longer term. The company expects the semiconductor industry to grow substantially in the coming years and it must prepare for this.
There are also many technological developments currently underway, for which ASMI sees many opportunities. According to the manufacturer, these are the main reasons why it will invest more in research.