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Rising microchip-maker demand boosts ASML profits

© AFP/File | ASML is considered a bellwether of the global high-tech industry

THE HAGUE (AFP) - 

Dutch global hi-tech bellwether ASML Wednesday posted a huge hike in second quarter profits, after the technology industry snapped up more of its sophisticated microchip-making machines than expected.

Profits rose 25 percent year-on-year to 584 million euros ($679 million), up from 466 million in the same quarter in 2017.

"Our second quarter sales were above expectations including higher than forecasted EUV sales," said chief executive Peter Wennink, referring to the company's cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet light lithography machines.

The company, based in Veldhoven, revealed it had shipped four of the massive machines in the second quarter, one more than expected, with each selling for around 120 million euros.

It is on track to sell around 20 EUV machines this year, with plans for 30 more in 2019.

That pushed second quarter sales to 2.7 billion euros up from 2.1 billion euros in the same period in 2017.

"After an excellent first half of 2018, we expect the second half to be stronger, with improved profitability and continued growth from Q3 to Q4," Wennink said.

ASML is one of the world's leading makers of lithography systems used by the semiconductor industry to make integrated circuits and microchips.

The company is considered a bellwether of the global high-tech industry as it supplies sector giants such as Samsung and Intel.

The lithography systems are used to manufacture processor chips, as well as memory chips such as DRAM and SRAM, essential for mobile phones and tablets.

A growing part of ASML's success comes from its sales of its unique extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machines which enable companies to produce smaller, more powerful and more rapid microprocessors for the world's computers, phones and hi-tech products.

© 2018 AFP