Global Semiconductor Sales Show Modest Sequential Decline In January

SAN JOSE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—March 3, 2005— Worldwide microchip sales of $18.3 billion in January were 0.5 percent below December sales of $18.4 billion but 17.5 percent higher than January of 2004 sales of $15.6 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported today. SIA pointed that January is usually a weak month for microchip sales following the typically strong holiday season.

"The modest sequential sales decline of one-half of one percent in January is an encouraging sign," said SIA President George Scalise. "January is historically one of the weakest months of the year for the microchip industry. We are encouraged by recent signs of strength in the overall U.S. economy, as evidenced by the 3.8 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter. Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research has noted that when GDP grows by more than 3 percent, semiconductor sales have shown healthy growth except when there are excesses of inventory or production capacity. At the present time, neither production capacity nor inventory excess is a problem.

"The excess inventories that slowed growth in the second half of 2004 have been largely depleted," Scalise said. "According to iSuppli, excess inventories declined from $1.6 billion at the end of the third quarter to $1 billion at year end. In some market segments, inventories are now below target levels, thus we are confident that inventory issues will not be a significant factor in semiconductor sales beyond the first quarter."

Factory utilization continued to decline, as expected, throughout the second half of 2004. Overall utilization was at 86 percent in the fourth quarter, and leading-edge capacity utilization was at 93 percent. Industry capital spending increased to approximately $47 billion -- roughly 22 percent of total sales -- in 2004. "In a year of record industry sales, this level of capital spending is in line with capacity needs going forward and should not lead to either excess capacity or severe price pressures," said Scalise.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
January 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Billions
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Month-to-Month Sales
Market                    Last Month   Current Month          % Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Americas                        3.24            3.18             -1.8%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Europe                          3.53            3.47             -1.7%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan                           3.86            3.87              0.2%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Asia Pacific                    7.75            7.76              0.1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                          18.37           18.27             -0.5%
----------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Year-to-Year Sales
Market                     Last Year   Current Month          % Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Americas                        2.93            3.18              8.3%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Europe                          2.94            3.47             17.9%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan                           3.61            3.87              7.0%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Asia Pacific                    6.06            7.76             27.9%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                          15.56           18.27             17.5%
----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Three-Month-Moving Average Sales
Market                   Aug/Sep/Oct     Nov/Dec/Jan          % Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Americas                        3.51            3.18             -9.3%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Europe                          3.46            3.47              0.3%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan                           3.90            3.87             -1.0%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Asia Pacific                    7.91            7.76             -2.0%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                          18.78           18.27             -2.7%
----------------------------------------------------------------------


The SIA's Global Sales Report (GSR) is a three-month moving average of sales activity. The GSR is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, which represents approximately 66 companies. The moving average is a mathematical smoothing technique that mitigates variations due companies' financial calendars.

About the SIA

The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 255,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.



Contact:
Semiconductor Industry Association
John Greenagel/Doug Andrey, 408-436-6600

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