VELDHOVEN, Netherlands ASML Holding NV, Europe's largest technology company, beat fourth quarter earnings forecasts on Wednesday and forecast a rise of more than 25 per cent in 2023 sales despite possible new curbs on its exports to China.
The maker of equipment to make semiconductors has struggled to meet demand as top customers TSMC, Samsung and Intel are all engaged in major expansions.
At the end of the year, it said that its order backlog had grown to a record 40 billion euros $43.62 billion.
Credit Suisse analysts said the earnings may be negatively affected by the market, given recent rallies in the company's share price, up 22 per cent in January and up 55 per cent from October lows.
The structural prospects of ASML remain the same, they said in a note.
The economic outlook for 2023 is clouded by worries over the economy and growing semiconductor inventories, but customers also see conditions improving toward the end of the year and China's economy recovering after the end of COVID 19 curbs, according to CEO Peter Wennink.
The demand is still higher than what we can make, he said.
The numbers came a week after U.S. President Joe Biden and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte discussed possible new export restrictions on some of ASML's sales to customers in China due to security concerns.
Despite the United States imposing new export restrictions on its own companies in October, Wennink said nothing has changed regarding ASML's exports to China.
Wennink said that we can still ship DUV older tools to mainland China.
China is the third-largest market after Taiwan and South Korea.
The Veldhoven, Netherlands-based firm reported fourth-quarter net profit of 1.82 billion euros, up from 1.77 billion a year earlier, on revenue of 6.43 billion euros.
Refinitiv Eikon data shows that it beat analyst expectations for a net profit of 1.70 billioneuros on sales of 6.38 billion, according to the data released by Refinitiv Eikon.