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German chip kit supplier hit by tightened China export scrutiny

MUNICH (Reuters) - German chip-making kit supplier Süss MicroTec cut its sales forecasts for the second time in three months, blaming tightened government controls for exports to China, sending shares tumbling 11%.

The south German company said on Wednesday that deliveries worth 23.5 million euros ($24.86 million) were stuck at customs, adding that, though rules had not changed, customs appeared to have significantly stepped up their inspections for deliveries to China since August.

German customs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, the government urged German firms to reduce their dependence on demand from China as part of a strategy of "de-risking" its economic relationship with the superpower.

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The uncertainty meant it was impossible to predict how many machines would have been delivered by the end of the year. The goods affected would have been especially lucrative, the small-cap maker of lithography equipment and other chipmaking gear said.

Süss Microtec expects sales of between 300 and 340 million euros this year, compared to 299.1 million euros last year, a smaller increase than they expected earlier. The company trimmed its EBIT margin outlook to 4%-8% from an earlier 9%-11%.

($1 = 0.9454 euros)

(Reporting by Alexander Hübner, writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Rod Nickel)