January 27, 2004 – Semiconductor equipment orders in December 2003 surpassed $1.1 billion for the first time since August 2002, with overall figures continuing to indicate a healthy recovery is underway, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).
North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment reported $1.1 billion in orders in December 2003, a 19.2% jump from November, 26.3% above October’s total, and 33.1% above the $826.5 million posted in December 2002. The bookings, representing a three-month average, have risen for five consecutive months, and are up more than 50% from the year’s low total of $707 million in July.
The three-month average of worldwide billings in December was $917.6 million, 4.7% higher than the $893.1 million posted in November and a 4.5% increase from a year ago, and 18% higher than June’s low total of $777 million. Billings have now increased for six consecutive months — and for the first time since April 2003, sales actually rose year-on-year, after being down by double-digits for much of the latter half of 2003.
The book-to-bill in December jumped to 1.20, up from 1.04 in November, 1.0 in October, and 0.92 a year ago. A book-to-bill of 1.20 means that $120 worth of new orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month. It’s the fifth consecutive monthly increase for the B:B, which is at its highest mark since July 2002.
The latest figures “support the positive outlook for strong growth in semiconductor capital investment this year,” stated SEMI president and CEO Stanley Myers, supporting analysts’ views that “2004 is shaping up to be a double-digit growth year for the global semiconductor equipment industry.”