April 26, 2018 / 6:43 AM / a month ago

BE Semiconductor Industries upbeat on growth prospects

April 26 (Reuters) - BE Semiconductor Industries, which sells equipment to chipmakers, reported a 52 percent increase in first-quarter core profit (EBITDA) on Thursday, driven by growth across its product lines.

The company said it expected growth to continue in the second quarter, with first-half revenue expected to increase by about 17 percent compared with 2017.

“Revenue growth this quarter ... reflected increased demand by Asian customers for smartphone and high performance computing applications and by North American and European IDMs (Integrated Database Management System) for automotive and cloud server applications,” Chief Executive Richard Blickman said -in a statement.

The company reported an 40.5 percent increase in first-quarter revenue, which came in at 154.9 million euros. First- quarter core profit was 52.0 million euros.

The company’s orders increased by 37.8 percent compared with fourth quarter of 2017, due primarily to capacity additions for smartphone applications, it said.

It said analysts expected the assembly equipment market to continue to grow in 2018. It also said VLSI Research revised down its 2018 market growth estimate based on recent announcements by semiconductor manufacturers.

On Monday, Apple sensor supplier AMS warned of a slowdown in sales in its second quarter and reported Q1 sales at the lower end of its guidance range

The warning came after Taiwan Semiconductor, another big Apple supplier, last week also reported weaker numbers, and adds to signs of strain in the supply chain

But Franco-Italian rival STMicroelectronics, which reported results on Wednesday, was upbeat on the second-half.

Reporting by Stratos Karakasidis. Editing by Jane Merriman

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