European Semiconductor Distribution (DMASS) sees slower decline in Summer Quarter 2012

Third quarter went down by only 6%.  Eastern Europe and Israel stand out with positive numbers. Germany and Italy remain weak.

London, November 20, 2012 – As predicted, the decline in the European semiconductor distribution market started to ease out during the summer quarter. DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), reported a decrease of 6% in consolidated sales over Q3 last year, to 1.41 Billion Euro. Sequentially, the numbers went down a mere 3%. Cumulatively, the distribution market dropped 12% compared to 2011.

Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS, commented on the results: “It is not coming as a surprise that the decline started to go backwards, as the second half of 2011 already showed significant weakness, against which we are comparing now. As bookings seem to be somewhat stable, according to several DMASS members, the decline in Q4 will be even smaller, resulting in 2012 numbers shrinking by ~10%. As the macro-economical issues in the Eurozone remain prevalent, there is no telling what 2013 might bring.”

From a regional view, Western Europe remained weak. Specifically the 2 biggest regions, Germany and Italy, again shrank over-proportionally, by -11.9% and -15.3% respectively, to 469 Million Euro (Germany) and 116 Million Euro (Italy). For the first time in years, the UK (-4.2% to 123 Million Euro) has outperformed Italy in sales. France declined by -8.8% to 95 Million Euro, Nordic by -6.5% to 145 Million Euro and Switzerland by -6.9% to 49 Million Euro. Shining stars were Russia (+20.1% to 64 Million Euro) and Israel (+22.1% to 54 Million Euro).

Georg Steinberger: “While Italy purportedly has structural and macro-economical issues, the weakness in Germany is most probably a factor of its former (and remaining) strength. Many German customers, specifically in automotive and industrial automation, had full inventories after the 2011 allocation and just have been more careful in ordering. It remains to be seen whether the export-oriented German high-tech industry can continue to benefit from a considerable better Asian economy and a certain Euro weakness.”

Product-wise, Programmable Logic, Analog, Opto and MPUs stood out with lower than average decline or flat numbers compared to last year, while Discretes, Power, MCUs and Standard Logic continue to suffer from the weakness in automotive and industrial automation respectively from a continued decline of the average selling price (ASP).

Georg Steinberger: “The continued decline in the ASP and the relatively stable volume of components sold suggest that the weakness is only partially due to the lower demand but most probably a factor of over-capacities in standard products.”

DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), a European non-profit organisation, is the only industry body that collates detailed semiconductor distribution market data on a quarterly basis by country and product groups such as microcontrollers, flash memories, analog components and many more. DMASS figures are collected and consolidated by Data Dynamics Ltd.

DMASS, founded in 1989, provides its members with a reliable statistical tool to evaluate their relative mass-market performance. The organisation currently consists of 35 active members and represents between 80% and 85% of the total European distribution market, depending on the regions. To continuously increase its European market coverage, DMASS welcomes new membership applications from distributors and semiconductor manufacturers.