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Venture's Q4 profit falls 24.7% but full-year earnings match street estimates

VENTURE Corp’s net profit fell 24.7 per cent to S$107.7 million in the fourth quarter, on less research and development work undertaken for customers compared to the same period a year ago.

Widening the gap was the absence of a one-off gain of S$11.3 million from Venture’s disposal of its stake in Fischer Tech in 2017.

Revenue in the three months ended Dec 31 was S$905.9 million, down 16.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Net profit margin in the fourth quarter was 11.9 per cent, down from 12.1 per cent in the same period a year earlier (excluding the one-off disposal gain) but better than the 10.6 per cent recorded over the entire 2018.

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In 2018, the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) firm made a full-year net profit of S$370.1 million, down 0.7 per cent from 2017, broadly in line with street estimates.

Excluding the one-off gain of S$11.3 million in 2017, net profit would have risen 2.4 per cent year-on-year.

A final dividend of 50 Singapore cents per share was declared, down from a final dividend of 60 Singapore cents last year.

Including a first-ever interim dividend of 20 Singapore cents paid in September, total dividend for FY2018 will amount to 70 Singapore cents per share, representing a 16.7 per cent increase over the prior year.

Fourth-quarter earnings per share was 37.5 Singapore cents, up from 50.6 Singapore cents in the fourth quarter last year.

Net asset value per share was S$8.16 at the end of 2018, up from S$7.61 at the end of 2017.

The group said on its outlook: “There have been increased interest from businesses looking to relocate production to South-east Asia due to the US-China trade war.  This is expected to present new business opportunities for the group.”

The counter closed three Singapore cents or 0.19 per cent lower at S$16.12 on Friday before results were announced after market close.