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Frencken's Q1 net profit falls 58.5%, but is up 10.8% excluding one-off gain last year

THE absence of a one-off disposal gain last year resulted in a 58.5 per cent fall in Frencken Group's first-quarter net profit to S$6.8 million.

Excluding the one-off gain of S$10 million last year, Frencken's net profit increased 10.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Revenue in the three months to March 31 was S$138.8 million, up 3.2 per cent on the back of a 19.3 per cent jump in turnover from the mechatronics division to S$106.9 million.

However, this was partially offset by a 29.1 per cent fall in sales at the integrated manufacturing services (IMS) division owing to the absence of sales from Precico Electronics which was divested last year.

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Excluding the revenue contribution from Precico last year, group revenue would have risen 15.4 per cent.

First-quarter gross profit margin softened to 16.7 per cent, from 17.2 per cent in the first quarter last year due to a shift in product mix.

Frencken said that its mechatronics division plans to add new cleanroom facilities, purchase equipment that improves its high precision machining capabilities, and increases automation of its manufacturing operations this year.

To further differentiate its automotive segment, Frencken's IMS division is developing an IMS Centre of Technology in Johor to centralise its tool manufacturing capabilities for all its factories in Asia.

Frencken said that its semiconductor segment is expected to grow year-on-year in the second quarter.

It also expects second-quarter revenue from its analytical, medical and automotive segments to be higher than in the previous year.

Revenue from the industrial automation segment is expected to be stable, it said.

First-quarter earnings per share was 1.62 Singapore cents, down from four Singapore cents in the same period a year earlier.

Net asset value per share was 61.70 Singapore cents as at March 31, up from 59.37 Singapore cents as at Dec 31.

Frencken fell 3.57 per cent to close at S$0.54 on Thursday. The results were announced after market close.