ASML: trade war risks increasing, but no 2023 impact on China sales

AMSTERDAM, Feb 15 (Reuters) – ASML Holding NV (ASML.AS) on Wednesday warned growing global trade and export controls pose a threat to its business, but it does not expect new restrictions on exports to China to affect 2023 earnings.

In a discussion of risks in its annual report, the top supplier of equipment to semiconductor makers outlined how it has already been affected by restrictions introduced by the United States government last year, which were aimed at hobbling China’s domestic chip-making industry.

Washington has been pushing the Netherlands and Japan to adopt similar measures.

Curbs imposed by the Dutch government under pressure from the U.S. have prevented ASML from selling its most advanced machines to China since 2019.

“Such developments, including the drive for technological sovereignty, could also lead to long-term changes in global trade, competition and technology supply chains, which could adversely affect our business and growth prospects,” ASML said.

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Separately on Wednesday, China’s semiconductor industry group CSIA warned that further export controls, if they materialise, would damage “China, with detriment to the global economy (and)…interests of consumers worldwide.”

In a foreword to the report, ASML CEO Peter Wennink said the company understood that the United States had reached some agreement with its allies in late January but no details have been disclosed publicly and any new restrictions would take months to draw up and enact.

“We understand that steps have been taken that would cover advanced lithography tools as well as other types of equipment,” Wennink said.

“We do not expect these measures to have a material effect on our expectations for 2023.”

Last month ASML forecast a 25% rise in sales for 2023 with sales to China steady at about 2.2 billion euros, or 14% of 2021 revenue.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely

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