"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ASML major supplier to global semiconductor industry cuts 1,000 jobs

ASML, the world's leading provider of extreme precision lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, based in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, has announced today they are cutting 1,000 jobs – more than 10 % of their global work force due to a severe drop in demand. ASML has seen profit fall 56 % and sales down from 530 Mn Euros projected in October by 20-30%. They are suppliers to many of the major global semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel.

"Never before have we witnessed such a sharp and sudden falloff in lithography system demand," said CEO Eric Meurice.

Most of the job cuts will be among staff on temporary contracts at ASML's headquarters in the central Dutch city of Veldhoven and at a manufacturing plant in Wilton, Connecticut. A training site in Tempe, Arizona, will be closed.

In the Netherlands, ASML will participate in a Labor Time Reduction Program, a temporary measure made possible by the Dutch government to help companies reduce working hours for employees without impacting their salaries. Employees receive part of their wages from the national unemployment fund, on condition they spend non-working hours on training and schooling.

In addition ASML plans to shut down production facilities for a total of 4 weeks, spread over Q1 and Q2 of 2009 and also take write downs on certain inventories and assets due to the the introduction of new, more cost-competitive, scanner models (incorporating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) systems which improve on current 193 nm tchnology) .

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