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Components | May 31, 2012

Semi distribution on its way to recovery

First quarter declined by 15%, but sequentially the European semiconductor distribution (DMASS) market grew by 14%. Eastern Europe reported record revenues.

As expected, the European Semiconductor Market could not recover completely to the record levels of Q1/2011. Although DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), reported the 4th highest quarter sales in its history, the decline against Q1/2011 amounted to 15%. The quarter ended at 1.54 Billion Euro. The positive news is that the recovery is on the way, with a sequential growth (over Q4/2011) of 14%. Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS, commented on the results: “We could not imagine to really go back to Q1/2011 record levels. The market conditions were quite different then. Throughout the beginning of 2012, inventory correction and careful ordering by customers still played a major role and kept the bookings levels relatively moderate. With a start of -15% into the year, it is almost clear that 2012 will at best be flat against 2011.” The regional difference again was made by Eastern Europe and Russia. While all Western European markets on an annual basis declined between 9.1% (Iberia) and 27.8% (Austria), Eastern Europe in total grew by 6.6% (Russia not included anymore) and Russia by 4.4%. The major regions behaved quite different – Germany declined by 18.6% to 522 Million Euro, Italy by 24.9% to 150 Million Euro, UK by 15.9% to 122 Million Euro and finally France by 12.1% to 115 Million Euro. The Nordic region (including the Baltic States) dropped by 21.5% to 150 Million Euro. Georg Steinberger: “The well-known tendency of production transfers to Eastern Europe continues. Most of the reported sales come from the transfer; the local design-driven markets develop at a slower pace, but nevertheless promisingly. Russia is competing with Benelux for the number 5 rank of countries/regions.” Product-wise, the only products showing year over year growth were high-brightness LEDs, Other Opto and DRAMs, all others declined with the usual bandwidth between -2.2% (MPUs) and Couplers (27.8%). The major product groups declined by 16.5% (Analog to 436 Million Euro), 17.8% (MOS Micro to 319 Million Euro), 10.9% (Programmable Logic to 145 Million Euro) and 19.5% (Power to 152 Million Euro). Memories Total, Opto Total and Other Logic went down under-proportionally. Georg Steinberger concludes: “There is not a clear against-the-trend picture among the products, except maybe the High-brightness LEDs which finally take up speed. And certainly MCUs were suffering over-proportionally and also see a slower comeback than other products. No surprise are legacy technologies like EPROMs and Bipolar Power slowly dwindling away, as they are replaced by Flash respective MOSFETs and IGBTs.”
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