(Adds details from statement, comments from CEO)
AMSTERDAM, July 19 (Reuters) - Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML said on Wednesday its sales in the second quarter rose to 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion), beating estimates due to strong demand from manufacturers of memory chips.
ASML in April said it expected sales between 1.9 billion and 2 billion euros in the second quarter. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast sales of 1.99 billion euros for the period.
The company said it was on track for sales growth of about 25 percent for the full year, with expected sales of around 2.2 billion euros in the third quarter.
"This is driven by sales to memory customers, expected to grow about 50 percent from last year," CEO Peter Wennink said in a statement. "Our current view is that the positive business trends that we are seeing in 2017 are likely to continue as we enter 2018."
ASML received net bookings of 2.4 billion euros in the second quarter, including eight orders for its new Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) machines, which cost around 100 million euros apiece. Their adoption by the industry is seen as pivotal for the future of ASML.
In recent months ASML had pointed to evidence chipmakers were gearing up to move beyond testing and would start using the EUV-systems in high-volume production of the tiniest, most powerful circuitry available.
It now said the adoption had reached an "inflection point", with a backlog for 27 EUV-systems, worth 2.8 billion euros.
In coming years ASML expects to profit from growth in China, where the planned expansion of the integrated circuit industry could lead to demand for the lithography machines ASML makes of around 3 billion euros, Wennink said.
Chinese investment plans are "very promising", the CEO said in a prerecorded video interview. "It will take some time before full capacity is being filled, but we are all set to take advantage of the Chinese business that will come."
ASML is the biggest maker of lithography systems, which use focused rays of energy to help lay out the circuitry of computer chips. It supplies the world's leading chip makers, including Intel in logic, Samsung Electronics in memory and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips to order for companies such as Apple.
($1 = 0.8669 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)