Lithography equipment supplier ASML to cut 1,450 jobs

Dec. 18, 2002 – Veldhoven, Netherlands – Chip equipment maker ASML has announced that it will cut 1,450 jobs and sell or close loss-making US businesses, as it strives to reach break-even in the chip industry’s worst-ever slump.

ASML Holding NV, the world’s second-largest maker of the scanners and steppers used to map out semiconductor circuitry on silicon wafers, also reiterated its financial guidance for the second half of this year, Reuters reports.

The company, which ranks behind Japan’s Nikon Corp, expects to ship about 100 lithography systems in the second half. It sold 360 systems in 2001 and 783 in 2000. Each system sells for more than five million euros.

ASML said the new cost cuts, which include 700 staff reductions in the core lithography unit that generates 94 percent of sales, will bring down the profitability break-even level in the lithography division to 160 units a year in 2003 from 180 units now.

It should help the company prepare for the possibility of even worse market conditions than this year, and CEO Doug Dunn said the cuts were inevitable. “The global market for semiconductor capital equipment has slumped by more than 70 percent in the last two years. Consequently we are doing all the things that good companies do in extreme downturns.”

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