April 26, 2005 – Japanese makers of semiconductor production equipment posted 1598.1 billion yen (~US$15.13 billion) in sales in fiscal 2004, up 36.9% for the second consecutive year of growth, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan said Monday, according to Kyodo News International.
The growth in sales, including exports, reflects strong demand for computer chips among makers of digital home appliances such as flat-screen television sets, SEAJ said. With equipment for production of liquid crystal panels also arousing strong demand, combined sales of such equipment and chip production devices set an all-time high of 2159.6 billion yen.
Sales of chip production equipment posted double-digit year-on-year growth or more than that in the first three quarters of fiscal 2004 from April through December 2004. Reflecting recent inventory adjustments by information technology companies, however, sales declined 5.2% in February and 8.7% in March.
For fiscal 2005, which ends next March, the association forecast a sharp drop in sales of chip production equipment to 1,331.7 billion yen.