ASM International N.V. (Euronext Amsterdam: ASM) today reports its fourth quarter 2018 operating results (unaudited) in accordance with IFRS. (LINK)
- New orders received of €302 million, at the highest level in history, increased 17% compared to Q3 2018 and were 48% higher compared to Q4 of last year.
- Net sales for the fourth quarter 2018 were €255 million, at the highest level in history, an increase of 30% compared to the previous quarter and an increase of 40% compared to Q4 last year.
- Gross profit margin was 41.7% in Q4 2018 compared to 40.9% in the previous quarter and 39.6% in Q4 of last year.
- Operating result increased to €46 million compared to the previous quarter. The increase is mainly the result of the higher sales level.
- Normalized net earnings for the fourth quarter 2018 increased by €4 million compared to Q3 2018.
COMMENTCommenting on the results, Chuck del Prado, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASM International, said:
"In Q4 we realized sales of €255 million and an order intake of €302 million. Sales were slightly above our guidance of €220-250 million. Our order intake was substantially above the €240-260 million that we indicated earlier, and again substantially higher than our former record level. The high order intake is driven by logic, foundry and then memory and was impacted by pull-ins of orders originally expected in the first half of 2019. As a consequence, and in line with our earlier 2018 guidance, we have seen a much stronger second half than first half. This reflects our strong position in the logic/foundry market, which, as compared to the memory market, showed a healthy development in the second half of 2018. Due to this we will start 2019 with a high order book. We delivered on our goal to outgrow the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market in 2018 by growing our sales year-over-year with 17% on a US$ basis."
OUTLOOKFor Q1, on a currency comparable level, we expect sales of €225-245 million, while we expect sales in Q2 to be at the €200-230 million level. For Q1, on a currency comparable level, bookings are expected in the range of €200-220 million.
For 2019, general expectations are that the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market will decline with a mid to high teens percentage. Based upon this current market view, we expect to outperform the WFE market in 2019.