ASML hit by fears over supply chain

Dutch chip equipment maker ASML, a bellwether for the European tech sector, said yesterday some customers were holding back on confirming orders because the Japan quake had disrupted their supply chain.

ASML, the world’s largest maker of semiconductor lithography machines, which map out electronic circuits on silicon wafers, reported a record quarterly profit on strong demand for the newest chips used in tablet computers and smartphones, but reported a lower-than-expected order book in the first-quarter.

ASML also sounded a note of caution because of the devastating 11 March earthquake. Chief financial officer Peter Wennink said: “There is a level of uncertainty about the ability of the entire supply chain.