European semiconductor sales via distribution hit in 2008 -

European semiconductor sales via distribution hit in 2008


LONDON — Semiconductor distribution sales in EMEA declined 11.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 7.9 percent for the total year according to the latest figures from DMASS – the Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists.

The organization says the downturn trend from the previous quarters continued and accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2008 with the global economic crisis hitting the electronics components distribution market with full force. The combined membership achieved quarterly distribution revenues of €1.09 billion (about $ 1.4billion) with revenues for the full year of €5.02 billion (about $ 6.5billion).

All regions were affected, even Eastern Europe declined for the first time in years being by 1.4 percent down in Q4 compared to Q4 last year. The only countries with Q408 over Q407 growth were Austria, Poland, Hungary and the emerging countries in Eastern Europe.

Russia, star of the first half of 2008, had a double digit decline and came out only slightly positive for the full year. Of the bigger regions, down 7.8 percent Germany declined least in Q4 to €352 million (about $455million) ), followed by France down 9 percent to €93 million (about $ 120million) and the U.K. down 13.4 percent to €100 million (about $ 129million).

The U.K. suffered a severe currency effect that diminished the local market value significantly. Italy, second biggest major region in Europe, fell 20.8 percent in Q4 to €119 million (about $154 million). All other regions or countries except Israel (down 1.9percent) and Sweden (down 8.1 percent) declined in double digits.

For the full year, Eastern Europe grew 5.8 percent, while Germany declined by 5 percent.

All major product groups went down in Q4 compared to Q4 last year with memories down 3.1 percent and standard logic down 17.4 percent. Only slightly affected was programmable logic, declining 4.2 percent with sales of €102 million (about $132 million). Analog components declined by 9.3 percent to €304 million (about $393 million), MOS Micros went down by 14.9 percent to €254 million (about $328 million). Only three products grew at all in Q4 compared to Q4 last year: DRAMs, SRAMs and DSPs. Annualised, all the major product groups were negative, between 5.6 percent (discretes) and 14.8 percent (standard logic).

“The fact that over the year, the downturn spread evenly across all products and technologies shows that this is a problem for all industries and applications, said Georg Steinberger, the new chairman of DMASS. “I continue to believe, however, that fundamentals of the European electronics industry, which is highly specialised and export-oriented, are still right and that Europe will be back on track soon.”

“Components distribution couldn’t escape the general downturn” added Steinberger. “With the economic crisis expanding far beyond the bank sector into the production industry, customers throughout all industry segments were affected. There is a lack of confidence in a fast recovery, therefore orders are postponed and bookings held back. Inventory levels at customers are extremely low. At the same time, suppliers are reducing capacity and spending for new fabs, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see availability trouble as soon as the market comes back.”

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