European semi sales soar in Q1

Q1 semiconductor sales were 16% up on Q4, reports DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists) – very much against the seasonal trend which expects Q1 to be down on Q4.Although the Q1 figure is five per cent down on Q1 last year, the q1-on-Q4 figure is “extremely promising” says DMASS.

Q1 sales were Euros 1.48bn. The recovery was led by the Nordic and Eastern Countries.

“The worst is obviously behind us,” says Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS, “however, the 5% decline against Q1/CY12 clearly shows that there is still some risk in the market, particularly through price pressure and production shifts. At least, the booking situation has slightly improved, so that another year of decline does not seem too probable.”

Among the major regions, the differences in growth/decline have been quite impressive – between 1% growth in the Nordic and Eastern Region and a decline of over 9% in Germany.

More specifically, in the Q1/Q1 comparison Germany ended at Euro 478m (-9.3%), Italy at Euro 139m (-7.7%), UK at Euro 123m  (-3%), France at Euros 108m (-6%), Eastern Europe at  Euro 160m  (+1.2%) and Nordic at Euro 153m (+0.8%). These regions account for ~80% of DMASS total.

Programmable logic declined by -11.3% to Euro 130m;  Opto grew by 2.3% to Euro 142m;  Analogue fell 2.8% to Euro 426m;  MOS Micro fell 6.2% to Euro 302m; Sensors grew by almost 13%; Other Logic (ASSPs mainly), stayed flat, all other segments were negative.

Georg Steinberger: “While most technologies are used across industry segments and participated in the general weakness (specifically Power, Discretes, Analogue, Memory and MOS Micro), Sensors and Opto stood out as growth opportunities, a trend that will continue for a while.”

The reason fro that, said Steinberger, is that end applications like lighting are growth markets with a lot of room for differentiation and engineering-supported market development activities and the same applies to advanced analogue technologies and power management.

DMASS has 34 active members and represents between 80% and 85% of the total European distribution market, depending on the region.

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