Much to its own surprise, ASML’s results in the first quarter of 2017, are higher than last quarter’s. Net sales are € 1.94 billion, the gross margin is 47.6%. The EUV backlog grows to 21 systems valued at EUR 2.3 billion. ASML expects net sales between € 1.9 and 2.0 billion and a gross margin between 43 and 44% for the second quarter of 2017.

As compared to a year ago, net sales are up 46%.

Moreover, “a positive industry environment provided a strong start to 2017 and healthy demand is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year”, ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said. “Our DUV business saw strong demand from all sectors of the industry. Our service and options business was also very strong in the first quarter, as a number of customers bought performance-enhancing upgrades for their existing immersion tools. Our second-quarter guidance shows that we expect these trends continue.”

In EUV, which is now in a phase of industrialisation, the order flow continues, says Wennink. The backlog now consists of 21 EUV systems.

Highlights from the Q1 statement:

“In DUV lithography, we continued to ship TWINSCAN NXT:1980 systems for memory, the ramp of the 10 nanometer logic node as well as process development for the 7 nanometer foundry node, bringing the installed base to more than 60 systems. Several customers had their previous-generation NXT systems upgraded in the quarter, with some taking selective productivity or overlay/focus upgrades and others choosing for a full upgrade to NXT:1980 performance. One system with a productivity upgrade processed more than 5,700 wafers in a single day at a memory customer, setting a new record for an NXT system. We boosted the productivity of our XT:860 KrF system further to 250 wafers per hour. Two customers have received upgrades to their existing XT:860 tools, realizing that performance. For our customers in 3D NAND, we released new options that improve focus and alignment performance on the high-topography layers typical for this application.

In Holistic Lithography, we formed a partnership with Cadence Design Systems to integrate ASML lithography and patterning simulation models into Cadence products, which will allow chip designers to perform manufacturability checks in the design phase to achieve better performance and shorter cycle times.

In EUV lithography, we started shipping the first NXE:3400B system late in the first quarter and completed shipment early in the second quarter.”

Outlook
For the second-quarter of 2017, ASML expects net sales between EUR 1.9 and 2.0 billion which includes approximately EUR 200 million EUV revenue, a gross margin between 43 and 44 percent, R&D costs of about EUR 315 million, other income of about EUR 24 million.