The European semiconductor industry continues to grow solidly in 2018. According to DMASS, semiconductor sales as reported by the members in Q1/2018 ended at a record 2.28bn Euro, 6.9% over Q1/CY17 and 13% above Q4/CY17.
Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS: “As we face peak demand in many industries and long lead-times for many semiconductor products, the growth is no surprise. It could have been even higher, considering channel shifts back to some manufacturers and the negative exchange rate effects from a weak US-Dollar. It remains to be seen how sustainable this is, considering that customers have to push out production in many instances due to hard allocation in other component segments. Nevertheless, at the moment outlook is solid.”
Regionally, the real surprise was the double-digit growth in smaller countries in Northern and Eastern Europe as well as in Austria and Iberia. Among the bigger regions, Italy grew fastest at 9.7% to 220m Euro), followed by Germany where sales rose 6.4% to 695m Euro) and the UK which posted a 6.3% uptick to to 166m Euro). Below average France edged ahead 3.4% to 157m Euro.
Eastern Europe reported a 12% increase to 366m Euro. Nordic sales were up 5.4% to 187m Euro.
Commented Steinberger: “In a nutshell, the smaller countries grew faster than the big ones. The mix of fast-growing countries is surprising, however, reaching from smaller Nordic tech economies to increasingly critical production hubs in Eastern Europe. Italy’s high-tech industry continues to surprise positively as well.”
A closer look at the products breakdown reveals strong and solid growth in Discretes (Small Signal, RF Discretes), Power Discretes (MOSFETs) and Sensors as well as in Programmable Logic – all double-digit – while Opto, Analogue, Memories and Other Logic (ASSPs) disappointed at between 1 and 2.5%.
Analogue, the biggest product group, grew by 2.4% to 672m Euro, MOS Micro by 8% to 477m Euro. Power powered ahead (what else) by 16.9% to 241m Euro. Opto (including LEDs) went at a slower 2.3% growth clip to 217m Euro.
Memories edged forward 2.4% to 184m Euro and Programmable Logic climbed 13.5% to 153m Euro.
Concluded Steinberger: “Looking at the market by product, we cannot see a very consistent picture in Q1, some of the below-average increases in big product categories may be driven by allocation or channel shifts. However, one quarter does not really tell a story. After the dust of various market effects has settled, the situation may become clearer (and so far the weight of the big product groups has not really changed dramatically).”