Strong semiconductor sales and a weak dollar combined to generate an 18.7% growth in merchant photomask revenues, according to The Information Network. In 2004, DNP led the worldwide market with a 30.5% share of the merchant market, up from a 29.5% share in 2004, followed by Toppan with a 20.0% share, up from 18.9% in 2003. Once the acquisition of Dupont Photomask (DPI) by Toppan takes effect, the combined market share would equate to a 38.8% share in 2004, well ahead of any competitor. The market grew 18.7% in 2004.
The Asian market (excluding Japan) grew 21.0% on a revenue basis in 2004 to nearly 30% of the worldwide market, while North America was flat after dropping 19% in 2003. The European market grew strongly, helped by the new DNP mask plant and its strategic partnership with STMicroelectronics. The total photomask market will grow a further 4.7% in 2005.