ASML Holding NV, a key supplier to Intel Corp and other computer chip makers, reported a sharp fall in third-quarter earnings on Wednesday as customers slowed spending amid the global economic downturn.
Net profit at the Dutch company was 73 million euros (US$99 million), down from 166 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Sales fell 25 percent to 696 million euros.
ASML makes lithography systems, the machines used to map out the circuitry of semiconductors. Customers include Intel, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), while its main competitors are Nikon Corp and Canon Inc of Japan.
The company sold 37 such machines in the third quarter at an average price of 16 million euros and received 31 new bookings. Its order backlog fell to 1.01 billion euros from 1.11 billion euros at the end of June.
Chief executive Eric Meurice said customers would continue to buy ASML’s machines through the downturn because they help lower production costs.
“Even during this downturn ... we expect to see quarterly sales at levels that should secure a positive operating profit margin,” he said.