Worst year ever for semiconductors
Gartner tots up the figures
This was the worst year ever for the semiconductor industry, with all top 10 players registering big revenues falls. In total semi sales will come in at $152bn in 2001, 33 per cent down on 2000.
The size of the downturn means that it will be difficult for some companies to recover in 2002. Mary Olsson, chief analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide semiconductor group, predicts further industry consolidation, as a consequence of the "tremendous destabilization" the industry has suffered this year.
Intel remains top of the tree, even though its sales fell 22.4 per cent to $23.49bn (2000: $30.3bn), according to preliminary industry stats compiled by Gartner Dataquest. This percentage drop in sales was the second smallest of all the top 10, behind only STMicroelectronics, reflecting the company's lack of exposure to the torched DRAM business.
Worst hit of all was NEC, currently mothballing its plant in Livingston, Scotland which saw sales plummet 49 per cent in 2001 to $5,389bn (2000: $10.643bn). Some of the sales fall are bookkeeping, as NEC transferred its DRAM business into Elpida, a JV with Hitachi.
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