The high global demand for semiconductor components is leading to a sustained high level of sales at the Dutch outfitter ASML: the company took in a good 4 billion euros in the second quarter of 2021, leaving just over 1 billion euros as profit.
ASML sold 69 newly built imaging machines in three months – four fewer than in the first quarter of 2021, when sales were nearly 4.4 billion euros. In both quarters, the manufacturer refurbished three repurchased systems, only to sell them again.
ASML is the only supplier offering lithography systems with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths of 13.5 nanometers. The world’s largest manufacturers TSMC, Samsung and Intel, as well as memory manufacturers such as Samsung and SK Hynix, rely on the imagesetters.
With the sale of imaging machines, ASML turned over nearly 3 billion euros in the second quarter of 2021. The rest comes approximately from maintenance and software maintenance. During the period, the company sold nine EUV systems, accounting for 45 percent of sales. Accordingly, the average price of such an exposure machine has risen from around 145 million to a good 147 million euros.
ASML’s sales distribution: the share of EUV exposure machines is steadily increasing.
This could be due to the first Twinscan EUV system NXE:3600D delivered, which operates 15 to 20 percent faster than the previous Twinscan NXE:3400C. Under optimal conditions, the NXE:3600D is expected to expose at least 180 silicon wafers per hour. In other words, the system needs 20 seconds per wafer.
Flood of orders
Virtually all chip manufacturers want to increase their production capacity due to the high demand for semiconductors, which is reflected in ASML’s backlog. In the second quarter of 2021, 156 new and 11 refurbished lithography systems worth almost 8.3 billion euros were ordered – 47 imagesetters more than at the beginning of the year. As ASML has not yet processed previous orders, the backlog currently stands at 17.5 billion euros.
For the full year 2021, ASML expects a revenue increase of 35 percent. This equates to revenues of almost 19 billion euros – in 2020, revenues were just under 14 billion euros. The stock market reacted positively to the announced business figures; the share rose by a good 3 percent to more than 601 euros.