Paul van Gerven
30 July

Listed Dutch high tech companies reported mixed results in the second quarter. Customers of Besi and NXP, spooked by the trade disputes and other uncertainties in the global economy, are cautious. Signify is facing headwinds too, though it still expects to grow sales this year. For ASML, revenue growth has become the norm, but this year growth for the full year all comes down on the final quarter. Philips is doing well, but ASM International is the star of the show. Here’s a quick round-up of the second quarter results:

ASMI sales to record level

Excluding a 103 million euro patent settlement, ASM International’s Q2 sales climbed to 260 million euros, a 25 percent year-on-year increase and an all-time record. At 270 million euros the order intake was strong as well, showing the company is still defying the current cold spell in the wafer fab equipment market.

ASML working to make up for weak start of the year

Six months into the year, ASML’s revenue is still more than 200 million euros behind 2018. CEO Peter Wennink, nonetheless, continues to see 2019 as “a growth year”, despite an ongoing lull in the memory chip market. The recovery has already started: after declining Q4 into Q1, revenue in Q2 sequentially rebounded 15 percent to 2.6 billion euros. ASML predicts further growth to 3 billion euros in Q3, at which point the cumulative revenue over the year will be at about the same level as it was over the first nine months of 2018. With logic customers investing heavily in the 7nm ramp-up, Wennink is confident Q4 will take full year revenue past the growth marker.

Besi in damage control mode

BE Semiconductor Industries has been hit hard by an “adverse industry environment and customer caution in the face of global tensions”, the company writes in a statement. Q2 revenue of 92.7 million euros represents a 42.5 percent decrease with respect to the same quarter last year. Through careful cost management, Besi succeeded in limiting the damage, CEO Richard Blickman commented. “We have been able to achieve attractive returns on revenue and equity in this challenging assembly equipment market by means of Besi’s flexible production model, pricing discipline and timely execution of headcount and cost reduction initiatives,” said Blickman.

NXP waiting for better times

NXP continues to be affected by global economic uncertainties. The world’s biggest supplier of automotive ICs saw its second quarter revenue fall 3 percent year-on-year to 2.2 billion dollars. “Looking forward, we continue to be optimistic that our product portfolio investments are addressing our customers’ long-term requirements, while in the short-term, the global demand environment has generally not improved,” said CEO Richard Clemmer.

Philips posts strong results

Despite adverse currency and tariff impacts, Philips managed to grow sales 6 percent year-on-year to 4.7 billion euros. Comparable order intake was strong as well, growing 8 percent, even though the Connected Care businesses saw a mid-single-digit decline. “I am pleased with the 6 percent comparable sales growth in the second quarter, with all businesses contributing,” commented CEO Frans van Houten. Philips maintains its overall sales growth target of 4-6 percent on average per year for the 2017-2020 period.

Signify’s profit engine sputters

Signify was struggling as even its ‘profit engines’ (LED, professional and smart lighting) posted a comparable sales drop of 2.3 percent in Q2. Including the ‘cash engine’ (traditional lamps), sales declined 6.1 percent. However, the company managed to improve profitability by cutting costs and, like ASML, expects a better second half of the year.