VELDHOVEN Jan 17 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
($1 = 0.7521 euros)
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, writing by Gilbert Kreijger,
editing by Sara Webb)