Japan’s equipment industry escapes 2005 with double-digit growth

February 9, 2005 – Japanese semiconductor manufacturing equipment orders marked their third consecutive double-digit year-on-year decline in December, as the market that led the industry’s ride up over a year ago takes the first bumps on the way down.

Worldwide bookings for Japanese semiconductor manufacturing equipment were 116.20 billion yen ($1.11 billion) in December, down 5.0% from November and 15.6% from December 2003. Billings rose 26.7% month-on-month and 24.5% year-on-year to 140.42 billion yen ($1.34 billion). The worldwide book-to-bill ratio (based on a three-month average) poked above the parity mark for the first time in three months at 1.05 compared with 0.96 in November, but well below last year’s mark of 1.62.

Domestic orders for Japanese chipmaking equipment in December were 70.94 billion yen ($676.7 million), an 80% jump from November’s trough and up <1% from a year ago. Sales were 72.19 billion yen ($688.6 million), up 51.0% sequentially and 37.6% from December 2003. The domestic B:B also returned to parity at 1.02, compared with 0.93 in the prior month and 1.42 a year ago.

Adding up monthly totals, global bookings for Japanese chipmaking equipment rose 19.3% in 2004 to 1.21 trillion yen ($11.52 billion), with billings rising 62.6% to 1.17 trillion yen ($11.17 billion). Domestic orders were 605.74 billion yen ($5.78 billion), a 7.0% increase from 2003, while sales increased 34.6% to 593.90 billion yen ($5.67 billion).


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