3 OCTOBER 2001

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ST holds on to July forecast

By Kurt Sansone

Despite the bleak outlook of the international economy ST Microelectronics has retained the forecast it made in July this year as its benchmark.

The financial results published in July outlined that the overall semiconductor world wide market will reach the bottom of the market downturn in the third quarter and will then be followed by a gradual recovery.

Answering questions put to him by The Malta Financial and Business Times, ST Human Resources Manager, Tonio Portughese said that the speed of the recovery "will depend among other things on the general international economy."

Mr Portughese added, "As of today, since the indications we have, have not brought us to clear different perspectives, we can only reaffirm the above analysis (July financial results) of the current situation."

Furthermore, Mr Portughese reaffirmed the corporation’s official policy that if the situation were to change ST would publish an official press release. However, the first warnings from the electronics and computer industry came on Friday with NEC and Sony announcing profit warnings in the wake of the US terrorist attacks. Both leading companies revised their July forecasts to reflect the negative impact of the attacks on the international economy.

The technology giants said that the full extent of the attacks was impossible to gauge at this time, however preliminary assessment is pointing to even bleaker days ahead.

Semi-conductor and computer related components have seen reduced sales in the first half of the year owing to lower demand mainly in the US and Europe.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt