Thu, Oct 01, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Advantest expects increase in orders

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Advantest Corp, the world’s biggest maker of memory-chip testers, expects orders to rise next quarter as demand from semiconductor and liquid-crystal-display (LCD) manufacturers rebounds, company president Haruo Matsuno said.

Orders in the three months ending Dec. 31 will climb from ¥8.9 billion (US$99 million) a year earlier and will be about the same as bookings this quarter, Matsuno said in an interview in Tokyo on Tuesday, without giving a figure. Orders in the current three months will exceed the ¥11.6 billion booked in the April-to-June period, Matsuno said.

Advantest, Applied Materials Inc, the world’s largest chip-gear maker, and Tokyo Electron Ltd are reporting increasing orders, signaling an economic recovery is under way. Worldwide chip-equipment capital spending will fall 45 percent this year to US$24.3 billion, Gartner Inc estimates.

“We are at the end of the tunnel,” Matsuno said. “Market conditions are improving weekly,” helped by orders from Taiwanese and South Korean makers of computer memory and chips used to control LCD screens in televisions, laptop computers and mobile phones.

Advantest, which reported a record net loss last fiscal year, may break even on an operating basis next March if orders reach the ¥20 billion mark, Matsuno said.

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