January 17, 2013 / 6:10 AM / 5 years ago

ASML Q4 net profit beats, warns of slow Q1

VELDHOVEN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - ASML, the world's leading provider of tools for making computer chips, on Thursday reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit, helped by a tax benefit, and warned of a slow start in sales in the first quarter of this year.

The Dutch firm, seen as a barometer for the tech sector, reported net profit of 298 million euros ($396 million) on sales of 1.02 billion euros.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast profit of 185 million euros on sales of 1.029 billion euros.

"We plan net sales for 2013 at a similar level to that of 2012, with a slow first quarter start, recovering in the second quarter and a relatively large second half," ASML said in a statement ($1 = 0.7521 euros) (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, writing by Gilbert Kreijger, editing by Sara Webb)

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