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Nico Steel posts US$243,000 FY2019 profit; applies for extension to exit financial watch list

METALS supplier Nico Steel Holdings on Friday posted a full-year net profit of US$243,000 for the year ended Feb 28, slightly over seven times its net profit of US$34,000 a year ago.

This comes on the back of a 14.2 per cent increase in revenue to US$15.1 million, as earnings continued to be supported by demand for the group’s proprietary brand of metal alloys, the group said.

On a per share basis, earnings per share came in at 0.01 US cent, unchanged from the preceding year. Shares in Nico Steel closed flat at 0.5 Singapore cent on Thursday.   

No dividend has been declared. 

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Executive chairman and president of Nico Steel, Danny Tan noted: "We are encouraged that our transformation strategy and efforts to focus on value-creating metallurgical solutions gained traction with some of the renowned global brand leaders in the communications, automotive and consumer electronics sectors."

Looking ahead, the group noted that it is "well-positioned to ride the technological transition trend with 5G revolution".

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Nico Steel is also "reasonably optimistic" that it will remain profitable for the year ended Feb 29, 2020, based on the monthly tonnage of secured orders required by its customers at the start of financial year.

Nico Steel was placed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) watch list on Sept 5, 2016 under the financial criteria, for posting three straight years of pre-tax losses, and for failing to maintain a market cap of at least S$40 million.

As at April 25, 2019, the group has a market cap of about S$24.8 million, based on data from SGX. 

In a separate regulatory filing on Friday, the group noted that it will apply to the Singapore bourse for a 12-month extension from the expiry date of Sept 4, 2019 to exit the financial watch list. 

The board noted that it has reviewed and considered the financial position and growth prospect of the group, and is of the view that it is "firmly on its recovery track", and should be given "reasonable time" for it to achieve a market cap of S$40 million. 

In addition, Nico Steel was also placed on the SGX watch list under the minimum trading price (MTP) criteria on June 5, 2017, for failing to maintain a six-month volume-weighted average trading price of 20 Singapore cents, and a S$40 million market cap. It has until June 4, 2020 to cure that status, or it could be forced to delist.

On this, the board noted that is will monitor and review the company’s progress in meeting the requirements to exit the MTP watchlist. 

It is now in the process of applying to the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading for the proposed adoption of a share buyback mandate, though this is subject to shareholders' approval at an extraordinary general meeting to be convened, Nico Steel said.