ASML's Potential Exit from the Netherlands: Dutch Minister Remains Optimistic About Company's Future

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 20, 2024 02:34 AM EDT

An employee walks past an ASML logo, a Dutch company which is currently the largest supplier in the world of semiconductor manufacturing machines via photolithography systems in Veldhoven on April 17, 2018.
(Photo : EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

The Dutch Finance Minister, Steven van Weyenberg, expressed confidence in ASML's commitment to remain in the Netherlands despite the company's previous threats to relocate its operations abroad, which it has since retracted.

Is ASML Leaving the Netherlands?

In a call with investors in January, ASML's CEO, Peter Wennink, highlighted concerns regarding limitations on labor migration and suggested the possibility of moving operations elsewhere if skilled personnel couldn't be recruited locally.

ASML plays a vital role in the global semiconductor supply chain, particularly with its production of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines, crucial for manufacturing integrated circuits.

According to a report by CNBC,Van Weyenberg emphasized ASML's strong ties to the Netherlands, citing the company's significant contribution to the country's technological landscape.

Wennink said the company was still optimistic about the second half of 2024, which ASML has classified as a "transition" year before a stronger 2025.

He agreed on a conference call that the first quarter was "relatively slow," but said it was "consistent with our guidance and expectation of an industry emerging from a downturn."

Overall revenues in the first quarter were 5.3 billion euros, down from 7.2 billion euros in the fourth quarter but still within the company's forecast.

In its annual report issued in January, the company predicted first-quarter sales of between 5.0 and 5.5 billion euros.

Total net sales for the second quarter were forecast to range between 5.7 billion and 6.2 billion.

READ NEXT: Biden Administration Awards Intel Nearly $20 Billion to Boost Domestic Semiconductor Chip Output 

Operation Beethoven

The Dutch government initiated "Operation Beethoven" to address ASML's apprehensions and encourage the company to maintain its presence in the Netherlands. However, ASML remains dissatisfied with the government's approach to facilitating its growth.

Despite ASML's discontent, the company has ruled out a complete departure from the Netherlands. Nonetheless, concerns persist regarding the government's policies on foreign students and skilled-migrant tax breaks.

ASML's workforce in the Netherlands comprises over 40% non-Dutch employees, reflecting the company's reliance on international talent. 

READ MORE: Dutch Government Is Working to Stop ASML From Leaving Amid Immigration Policy Concerns 

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