For the first time in the company’s history, the Dutch chip industry supplier ASML has turned over more than 5 billion euros within three months. In the third quarter of 2021, sales were 5.24 billion euros, of which 1.74 billion euros remained as profit. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of 32 and 64 percent respectively.
ASML sells lithography systems for the exposure of silicon wafers to semiconductor manufacturers such as TSMC, Samsung, Intel, Globalfoundries and SK Hynix. ASML has ramped up its own production significantly since 2020: In the third quarter of 2020, the company still sold 57 lithography systems, one year later 72. In addition, there were seven reconditioned and resold imagesetters.
the Sales flushed a good 4.1 billion euros into the coffers. The rest of the sales came from the maintenance of imagesetters that had already been sold and from software maintenance. The operating margin was 36.6 percent and the gross margin 51.7 percent.
High EUV share
Most recently, ASML also delivered a larger number of systems that work with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths of 13.5 nanometers and are required for all manufacturing processes from the 7 nm generation onwards. ASML sold 15 such imagesetters in the third quarter of 2021 – six more than in the previous quarter.
With the increase in deliveries, bookings for the coming quarters fell. While customers still ordered lithography systems worth almost 8.3 billion euros in the second quarter of 2021, ASML only accepted orders worth almost 6.2 billion euros in the third quarter. Almost half of this will come from EUV systems. Due to the global shortage of chips, however, the company continues to expect long-term growth: In 2025, ASML plans to generate sales of 24 billion to 30 billion euros.
Most of the lithography systems went to Taiwanese chip contract manufacturers, whose share of sales at ASML rose from 36 to 46 percent within three months. TSMC and UMC, among others, are based in Taiwan. The share of South Korean and Chinese sales fell analogously – ASML is not allowed to send EUV systems to China due to regulations.
While no other chip industry supplier has series-ready EUV imagesetters in its range, ASML is already developing improved versions. This summer the company presented the Twinscan NXE: 3600D, which is the first EUV system to expose 160 silicon wafers per second.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, ASML expects sales of between 4.9 billion and 5.2 billion euros. Annual income is expected to increase by 35 percent to almost 19 billion euros compared to 2020. The stock exchange reacted to the announcement of the business figures with a slight kink in the share price to around 673 euros.