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UPDATE 1-BE Semiconductor sees surging revenue from strong Asia demand

(Adds details, CEO comment)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Dutch firm BE Semiconductor (BESI) , which makes equipment for chipmakers, forecast on Friday a surge in first-quarter revenues after saying its fourth-quarter numbers were above its expectations on the back of strong demand in Asia.

It shares rose 8% in early trading.

BESI, whose customers include tech companies like Samsung , Sony and Qualcomm, sees January-March revenue rising 30%-40% from the previous quarter as orders received to date exceeded total bookings in the fourth quarter.

The Dutch multinational company, which designs and manufacturers semiconductor equipment, has benefited from the global rollout of 5G networks, which are set to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars.

The maker of semiconductor assembly and packaging equipment posted fourth-quarter revenue of 109.7 million euros ($132.68 million), up 1.3% on the previous quarter.

In October, it expected October-December revenue to be flat or down 15% as pandemic-led restrictions affected its business.

“Besi’s results were even more impressive considering the multiple headwinds,” Chief Executive Richard Blickman said in a statement, citing challenges ranging from the COVID-19 crisis to U.S.-China trade tensions and foreign exchange rate moves.

The company reported orders growing 65% in the fourth quarter, driven by strong demand from Asian subcontractors involved in making high-end and mid-range smart phones.

In 2020, the Amsterdam-listed company made 83% of revenues in the Asia Pacific region. It has been expanding Asian production.

$1 = 0.8268 euros Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian and Boleslaw Lasocki in Gdansk; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Edmund Blair

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