UPDATE 1-ASMI raises Q4 guidance on expectations of strong demand

Oct 28 (Reuters) - Dutch semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier ASM International on Wednesday raised its guidance for the fourth quarter, saying it expected strong demand for wafer fabrication equipment.

The company, which supplies Intel Corp and Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) , raised its guidance for fourth quarter sales to 330-350 million euros. It previously saw fourth-quarter sales in line with the third quarter.

Sales in the July to September period fell by 8% to 315 million euros, within its forecast of 300-320 million euros ($732.78 million).

“Supported by a continued healthy market development in the second half we now expect the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market to grow with a high single to low double digit percentage in 2020,” the company said in a statement.

Wafer fabrication creates repeated sequential processes to produce circuits on semiconductor wafers.

The gross profit margin in the third quarter stood at 49.9%, up from 48.3% in the previous quarter.

$1 = 0.8461 euros Reporting by Federica Urso and Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan