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Dutch hi-tech group ASML profits dip despite record sales
by Staff Writers
The Hague (AFP) Jan 22, 2014


Texas Instruments cutting jobs amid weaker outlook
New York (AFP) Jan 21, 2014 - Texas Instruments said Tuesday it is eliminating 1,100 jobs worldwide as the chipmaker moves away from slow-growing segments.

The news came as the company reported quarterly and annual profits in line with expectations, but offered a disappointing outlook for early 2014.

Chairman and chief executive Rich Templeton said TI would be taking restructuring charges for cost-saving actions in embedded processing -- which include chips in connected everyday devices -- and in Japan.

"The company is not exiting any markets or discontinuing any existing products but will reduce investments in markets that do not offer sustainable growth and returns," he said.

"The savings will reflect the elimination of about 1,100 jobs worldwide."

The company's fourth quarter profit rose 94 percent from a year ago to $511 million. Its full-year profit was $2.2 billion, up 23 percent.

But its guidance for the first quarter of 2014 for revenue and profit was below most Wall Street analyst forecasts.

In 2012, the Dallas-based firm said it would cut back on chips for mobile phones to focus on processors for devices and applications "with long life cycles," including industrial equipment and the automotive sector.

Dutch computer chip maker and global high-tech bellwether ASML on Wednesday posted a drop in profit for 2013, despite record sales in the fourth quarter.

Net profit for the year dipped to 1.01 billion euros ($1.37bn), down 11.4 percent from 1.14 billion euros in 2012, but the southern Dutch tech trendsetter predicted a strong showing as the demand for smartphones and tablets continued to boom.

ASML bought the San Diego-based tech company Cymer in May for $1.95 billion and ASML chief executive Peter Wennink said the deal pushed down 2013 full-year profit by 139 million euros.

ASML is one of the world's leading makers of lithography systems used by the semiconductor industry to make integrated circuits and microchips, while Cymer makes the light sources used in the lithography systems.

Based just outside the Dutch tech-hub of Eindhoven, ASML however said it has achieved its turnover objectives in 2013, boosted by record sales in the fourth quarter.

ASML posted 5.24 billion euros in turnover, up 10.8 percent from 4.73 billion euros in 2012, with 1.84 billion euros in net sales achieved in the fourth quarter alone.

"The fourth quarter showed our operational capability to respond to strong demand," said Wennink.

Wennink said strong results were expected in 2014, driven by the smartphone market, expecting net sales of around 3.0 billion euros in the first half of 2014.

ASML said it will increase the dividend by 15 percent compared to last year.

The markets on Wednesday reacted favourably to ASML's results, with its shares jumping 5.94 percent to 66.85 euros in mid-morning trade on the Amsterdam stock exchange's AEX index, which itself climbed by 0.47 percent.

ASML operates in 16 countries and is considered a good indicator of conditions in the microprocessing industry.

It employs over 13,000 people and counts world hi-tech leaders such as Samsung and Intel among its customers.

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