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Willas-Array posts HK$18.96m full-year net loss amid trade war

WILLAS-ARRAY Electronics (Holdings) reported a loss attributable to owners of HK$18.96 million (S$3.34 million) for the year ended March 31, compared to a profit of HK$111.96 million the year before, in its results release on Wednesday.

This came as revenue fell 19.1 per cent to HK$3.69 billion from HK$4.56 billion the year before. The Hong Kong-based distributor of electronics components noted that its results came against a backdrop of increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, which had hit global business and consumer sentiment.

Gross profit was down 17.2 per cent at HK$327.5 million, though gross profit margin edged up to 8.9 per cent from 8.7 per cent previously.

The company recorded HK$31.3 million in other losses, the bulk of which was a HK$30.7 million exchange loss mainly arising from the depreciation of the yuan, in contrast to other gains of HK$33.7 million in the previous financial year.

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Loss per share for the year was 22.36 Hong Kong cents. But the company is recommending a final dividend of 20 Hong Kong cents per ordinary share.

The company said that despite the weaker performance this financial year, it "remains confident in the sustainability of its business as well as the longer-term prospects of its industry".

Said chairman Lawrence Leung: "Given our 30-year track record, the Group remains confident of its ability to weather the current market conditions as we continue to focus our efforts and resources on the key growth segments we have identified. We believe that the longer-term prospects of the automotive, industrial and home appliance remain bright and we want to use this slower period to boost our capabilities even more in order to catch the economic upswing when it comes."

But he added that the company remains mindful about downside risks and uncertainty, having taken measures to tighten costs and expenditure in the latest financial year.

"The group will continue to be prudent in managing its operations and sustaining a healthy liquidity position in order to support long-term growth," he said.

Willas-Array shares closed unchanged at S$0.53 on Wednesday before the results.