Semiconductor equipment firms enjoy a boost in sales

Semiconductor equipment firms enjoy a boost in sales
Tom Foremski
Semiconductor equipment firms are enjoying a boost in sales according to the latest book-to-bill ratio from Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).
Worldwide bookings for semiconductor equipment grew 14 per cent in March to $1.15bn and produced a healthy book-to-bill ratio of 1.30. The figure is welcome news for chip equipment firms who have suffered through a long downturn.
“This is encouraging news,” said Stanley Myers, president of SEMI. “First quarter orders have been stronger than expected and the bookings for March are up 139 per cent from bottom of the cycle in September 1998. Reports coming out of Asia seem to suggest that the economies there are recovering sooner than expected and IC manufacturers, especially in Korea and Taiwan, are starting to order.”
Three-month average shipments in March 1999 were $887m, six per cent above the February 1999 level, but 35 per cent below March 1998. Three-month average bookings increased in March 1999 to $1.15bn, and 14 per cent above February 1999 and two per cent above March 1998.

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