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European semiconductor distribution starts to recover from inventory correction

European semiconductor distribution starts to recover from inventory correction

Sales of semiconductors through European distributors grew by 14% over Q4 of 2011, indicating that recovery is on the way, despite not reaching the record levels of Q1 of 2011.

The Distributors' and Manufacturers' Association of Semiconductor Specialists (DMASS) said the first three months of 2012 represented the fourth highest quarterly sales in its history, with revenues of €1.54billion. But sales were still 15% lower than the corresponding period in 2011.

Georg Steinberger, DMASS' chairman, commented: "We could not imagine to really go back to Q1/2011 record levels; the market conditions were quite different then. Throughout the beginning of 2012, inventory correction and careful ordering by customers played a major role and kept the bookings levels relatively moderate. It is almost clear that 2012 will at best be flat against 2011."

All Western European markets declined, on an annual basis, between 9.1% and 27.8%. Sales in the UK dropped by 15.9% to €122million. Eastern Europe on the other hand grew by 6.6%.

The only product areas showing year over year growth were high brightness leds, other opto and drams. All other areas declined, with mpu sales dropping by 2.2%, programmable logic by 10.9%, analogue by 16.5%, mcus by 17.8% and power by 19.5%.
Steinberger concluded: "There is no clear trend among the products, except maybe the high brightness leds. No surprise are legacy technologies, like eproms and bipolar power, slowly dwindling away as they are replaced by flash, mosfets and igbts."

Simon Fogg

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