ASM International, a global leader in semiconductor equipment and materials, has reported a robust performance in its third quarter of 2023, with significant growth in revenue. The company’s Q3 2023 revenue surged by 9 percent to reach €622 million, reflecting its strong position in the semiconductor market.
Benjamin Loh, the President and CEO of ASM, highlighted the company’s continued strength in gross margin, which stood at approximately 49 percent during the third quarter. This impressive performance was driven by a positive product mix, particularly with a substantial increase in contributions from the Chinese market. Looking ahead to the full year 2023, ASM anticipates an operating margin of at least 26 percent, surpassing the earlier forecast of 26 percent or slightly lower.
For the upcoming fourth quarter of 2023, ASM projects revenue in the range of €600-640 million. The company’s forecasts for the second half and the entire year 2023 remain largely unchanged. In the second half of the year, ASM expects a slight drop in revenue, around 10 percent compared to the first half. However, for the full year 2023, the company foresees a nearly 10 percent year-on-year increase in revenue, taking into account the consolidation of LPE.
Regarding the new export control measures issued by the United States on October 17, 2023, ASM has conducted a preliminary assessment and does not anticipate any significant additional impact compared to its previous communications.
In the semiconductor equipment market, ASM expects a decline of high single-digit to low double-digit percentages in 2023 for wafer fab equipment (WFE). Memory WFE is anticipated to experience the most substantial decline. Despite the market challenges, leading-edge logic/foundry equipment remains relatively resilient. The mature node markets are expected to see growth this year, with some signs of slowdown in power/analog segments. ASM remains confident in its ability to outperform the WFE market in the current year.
In Q3 2023, ASM received orders totaling €627 million, which remained relatively flat compared to the previous year at constant currencies. However, this represents an increase from the lower order levels observed in Q2 2023. The semiconductor industry continues to face economic pressures and geopolitical tensions, resulting in sluggish demand in many semiconductor end markets. Notably, the leading-edge logic/foundry segment has seen relatively soft demand due to the uncertain timing and strength of market recovery.
Despite these challenges, ASM is optimistic about the transition to next-generation technology, particularly gate-all-around (GAA) technology, with expectations of meaningful GAA orders in Q4 2023. While advanced-technology investments in the DRAM segment have been observed, the overall demand in memory remains subdued and is not expected to recover in the near term. The power/analog market, which has held up well, is now also displaying signs of a slowdown, including in key sectors like automotive and industrial. However, ASM remains confident in the solid traction of its SiC Epi business, with expectations of revenues exceeding €130 million for this segment in the current year.
ASM International’s Q3 2023 results reflect its resilience in a dynamic and challenging semiconductor industry, demonstrating its commitment to driving innovation and remaining at the forefront of technological advancements.