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AEM Holdings full-year net profit soars to S$31.5m in FY17

SEMICONDUCTOR equipment maker AEM Holdings has reported a full-year net profit of S$31.5 million for the year ended Dec 31, more than six times their S$4.7 million net profit the year before.

This was on the back of revenue more than tripling to S$221.6 million, from S$70.1 million the year before.

AEM said topline growth was driven by strong ongoing demand from its key customer - understood to be chipmaker Intel - for the group's new generation semiconductor handler platform.

Profit growth was enhanced by an improved product mix, operating efficiencies and economies of scale, said AEM in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday night.

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The group's main business, equipment systems, reported full-year revenue of S$214.8 million, up from S$64.4 million the year before. This was due mainly to higher sales of equipment, pans and kits.

Its precision components business saw full-year revenue rise 20 per cent to S$6.8 million due to increased customer demand.

Net margins strengthened to 14.2 per cent in FY2017, up from 6.6 per cent the year before.

Earnings per share were 48.39 Singapore cents, up from 10.68 Singapore cents the year before.

Net asset value (NAV) per share was 30.4 Singapore cents as at Dec 31, down from 43 Singapore cents from the year before. This was after the group issued 21.7 million bonus shares on April 18, 2017, bringing down the NAV per share.

AEM is proposing a final dividend of 6.5 Singapore cents per share. Net of dividends paid out in the second and third quarters, total dividends for FY2017 are 12 Singapore cents per share.

The group said that, having "ensured sustainable sales growth from its key customer and next-generation handling platform for the next few years", it has also been diversifying globally.

It highlighted its acquisition of network infrastructure testing and measurement firm InspiRain Technologies in November 2017 and its near-completed acquisition of Finnish MEMS (micro-electro mechanical system) test solutions provider Afore Oy.

The company also announced the issue of three bonus shares for every one existing share, "aimed at rewarding shareholders and deepening liquidity for AEM's stock".

AEM expects to better its FY2017 performance in the coming year, with at least S$255 million in revenue and at least S$42 million in operating profit before tax for FY2018.

AEM shares closed at S$6.36 on Friday, up 32 Singapore cents or 5.3 per cent.