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AEM's Q4 earnings nearly quadruple on new orders

NET profit for AEM Holdings, which provides advanced chip testing solutions, nearly quadrupled to S$16.7 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, up from S$4.4 million a year ago.

Earnings per share stood at 6.21 Singapore cents for the quarter, up from 1.62 cents for the year-ago period.

Revenue more than doubled to S$88.6 million for Q4, from S$39.3 million in the year prior, driven by the equipment systems solutions business which saw new orders across all its product lines and consumables, AEM said on Tuesday night.

The other segments – micro-electro-mechanical systems, system level test and inspection, and test and measurement solutions – also recorded growth in sales.

A final cash dividend of 3.1 Singapore cents per share was recommended for the year, compared to 1.9 cents for 2018. The dividend will be paid on May 29, after books closure on May 15.

For the full year to Dec 31, 2019, net profit jumped 57.5 per cent to S$52.8 million, while revenue grew 23.2 per cent to S$323.1 million.

AEM said that as at Feb 25, it had received sales orders worth S$338 million for delivery in FY2020. With the higher sales orders, the group revised its FY2020 revenue guidance upwards to between S$360 million and S$380 million.

Operationally, the group has been scaling up its floor space and headcount to cope with the prospective new orders.

“On a cautious note, the spread of the coronavirus has started to cause some disruptions to many industries and dampened the economic outlook,” said AEM executive chairman Loke Wai San.

The company noted that the overall implication to the global economy and the semiconductor industry is not clear yet.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and will work with our customers to navigate through any disruption,” Mr Loke said.

AEM shares were up S$0.02 or 0.9 per cent to S$2.23 as at 10.05am on Wednesday.