Electronics Production | November 20, 2006

Chip distribution tops 20% growth line

Positive trend in industrial semiconductor distribution continues, with over 21% growth in Q3. Cumulative growth for 2006 hits 19% mark. Germany outperforms big countries/regions.
2006 turns more and more into a landmark year for the European semiconductor distribution industry in showing the highest growth rates since the record year 2000. The 3rd quarter (July - September) growth rate topped the 20% mark and drove results to 1,34 Billion €, according to DMASS (Distributors' and Manufacturers' Association of Semiconductor Specialists). Consolidated distribution sales of the DMASS members grew 18,9% to 4,1 Billion €.

Notable is that DMASS only reports industrial semiconductor sales but the general market situation looks pretty much the same.

Anne Vernay, Chairwoman of DMASS, commented: "it is clear that the year 2006 will become a record year for European semiconductor distribution, even compared to historical levels of 2000. Our worries of the market repeating the patterns of 2004 have been greatly reduced. Even a softening of the growth in the last quarter would keep sales levels way above 2005 results in a double-digit-growth range. We still wait for signs of the OEM market catching up."

Regionally, in the 3rd quarter Germany not only dominated the growth picture but for the first time in DMASS history (since 1989) reported higher sales than Italy, UK and France combined. On a year/year basis, Germany grew by 24.6% to 434 Million €, Italy by 20.5% to 159 Million €, UK by 10,6% to 154 Million € and France by 12,6 to 118 Million €. Among the smaller regions, Russia (+51%), Czech Republic (+45%), Denmark (+37%) and Poland (+36%) grew fastest. Also, as an interesting first in DMASS records, last quarter Austria & Eastern Europe as a region topped France and caught up with the Nordic region (Scandinavia) in absolute revenues.

Anne Vernay: "The fact that Germany slowly but steadily has reached sales levels of the other 3 big regions combined is either a sign of weakness for the others or a proof of strength for the diversity of the German electronics market. It also proves that Germany obviously has not yet seen the same level of production transfer as the others.

Germany's role as growth driver will remain." Product-wise, again the major product groups Analog and MOS Micro took the lead in driving Q3 sales, this time with reversed roles: MOS Micro grew by 26,3%, Analog by 24,8%. Among those, DSPs (+49%), Microperipherals (+33%), Standard Analog (+28%) and MCUs (+25%) dominated the growth while MPUs only increased by 8,6%. Of the
other product groups, Power grew by 22%, Memories by 20%, Optoelectronics and Programmable Logic by 14% each. The single highest growth was recorded for DSPs (+49%), the lowest for EPROMs (-24%).

Vernay concluded: "In 2006, we see a solid growth across all product ranges except mature technologies such as EPROMs and to some extent Bipolar Logic. From an industry perspective this hints at a sound market development across all industry segments that distribution serves. Distribution has become more than a channel. It is an industry of its own, serving the entire range of customers and driving its own success."


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