AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - ASML, the world's leading provider of tools for making computer chips, expects first-half sales in 2014 to be on a par with those in the second half of this year, driven by demand for smartphones and tablet computers.
The Dutch firm is seen as a barometer for the health of Europe's technology sector, and its upbeat outlook suggests manufacturers are betting on continued consumer appetite for the latest mobile gadgets.
"We expect the first half of 2014 will be good," Chief Executive Peter Wennink said in a webcast interview.
"The mobile revolution is still ongoing."
ASML said it sees first-half sales in 2014 at similar levels to the second half of this year - which would translate into sales of about 3.12 billion euros (2.63 billion pounds) if the company meets its full-year sales forecast of 5.2 billion euros in 2013.
ASML reported third-quarter net profit of 193 million euros on sales of 1.318 billion euros, in line with forecasts and driven by demand from logic customers which make microprocessors used in computers and mobile devices, and from DRAM - or Dynamic Random Access Memory - customers for mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a third-quarter net profit of 197 million euros on sales of 1.337 billion euros.
It reiterated its full-year outlook for sales of 5.2 billion euros which include a contribution from its acquisition of Cymer last year. ($1 = 0.7406 euros)
(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by David Cowell)