(Corrects comparing period to fourth quarter of 2017 in 4th paragraph)
By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM, April 18 (Reuters) - ASML Holding NV said on Wednesday first quarter net income came in at 540 million euros ($668 million), beating expectations, and forecast a rise in second quarter sales as customers bought more of its lithography systems.
ASML, which dominates the market for these large machines that can cost 100 million euros each and used by Intel, Samsung, and TSMC to lay out the circuitry of semiconductor chips, said sales stood at 2.29 billion in the first quarter.
The company, a key supplier to computer chip manufacturers, said it received 2.44 billion euros of new orders during the quarter and forecast sales in the second quarter of 2.5-2.6 billion euros.
Analysts polled for Reuters had seen net income at 500 million euros for the first quarter, compared with net income of 644 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2017.
New bookings were seen at 2.06 billion euros in the first quarter.
ASML plans to take its newest “EUV” systems, which use highly focused beams of ultraviolet light to map out circuitry, into high volume production this year, shipping 20 systems in 2018 and at least 30 in 2019.
The company said that for the first time it has also received orders for the generation of machines that will follow the current EUV systems.
“We received the first four orders from three customers and we also sold options to buy eight more systems,” the company said.
These machines are “an extension of EUV lithography and will enable geometric chip scaling beyond the next decade, offering a resolution and overlay capability which is 70 percent better than today’s most advanced EUV systems,” said ASML Chief Executive Peter Wennink in a statement.
“All in all, we saw a good start of the year and we reiterate our expectation for continued solid growth in 2018, both in sales and profitability.” ($1 = 0.8080 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)