ASML quarterly profits soar, record year expected

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Dutch firm ASML, a global supplier of computer chip-making systems, predicted Wednesday a record year ahead as it posted quarterly profits of 395 million euros, almost four times last year's figure.

The 395 million euro ($572 million) in net profits dwarfed the 107 million euros the company garnered in the first three months of 2010 and was above the predictions of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

"A strong first quarter confirms our confidence that 2011 is expected to be another record year for ASML," said ASML president and CEO Eric Meurice.

However he admitted that there were problems ahead, not least as a result of the devastating recent earthquake and tsunami in hi-tech Japan.

"The semi-conductor manufacturers are certainly showing caution in assessing the economic impact of the Japanese earthquake on their supply chain as well as on the overall end-product market," he said.

A number of deliveries have already had to be "re-timed" he added.

However Meurice assured that such schedule changes do not impact significantly our revenues expectation for the year" expected to hit a record "level clearly above 5 billion euros."

"The structural needs for lithography capacity continue to be sufficiently large for 2011," he said.

Lithography refers to the system of transferring circuit patterns onto ever smaller computer chips.

ASML employs 7,400 people in 16 countries.

© 2011 AFP

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