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VELDHOVEN, the Netherlands (


) --


(ASML) - Get ASML Holding NV Report

, the Dutch maker of semiconductor equipment, said fourth-quarter profit surged to €407 million ($547.7 million) from €50.5 million a year earlier as the company achieved record sales and


and ramped up production at its factories to meet demand.

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ASML, in a press release Wednesday, said fourth-quarter sales were €1.52 billion vs. €581 million a year earlier. Fourth-quarter net bookings were €2.32 billion and its order backlog at the end of the year stood at €3.86 billion.

ASML said it expects first-quarter sales of €1.4 billion.

"The fourth quarter was a strong close to a remarkable year in the history of ASML during which we achieved record sales, profit and bookings," said Eric Meurice, CEO and president, in a statement. "In order to meet brisk demand for our advanced technology products as well as for our capacity tools, we almost tripled the output of our factory in 2010 compared with 2009, through expansion of our fixed and flexible work force, and by structural cycle time improvements."

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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