Seven Singapore firms named in Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list 2022

The Hour Glass was highlighted by Forbes Asia to have captured the momentum of economic reopening following the pandemic. - THE HOUR GLASS

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Seven Singapore companies, including precision engineering company UMS Holdings and luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass, were included in this year's Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion List.

The list, announced on Forbes' website on Wednesday (Aug 10), recognises 200 top-performing public companies with less than US$1 billion (S$1.38 billion) in yearly sales in the Asia-Pacific region.

The top 200 companies were selected from a pool of 20,000 listed firms in the region with annual sales above US$10 million and below US$1 billion, from industries such as semiconductors, software and services, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and manufacturing.

Forbes Asia noted that this year's list highlights the shift to discretionary spending, as Covid-19 restrictions have eased across the Asia-Pacific.

The return to normalcy has benefited apparel-makers, mall operators, restaurants, consumer electronics and entertainment companies, it added.

Several Singapore-based companies named on the unranked list provide precision engineering and manufacturing solutions supporting the semiconductor industry.

UMS Holdings, for one, posted a 26 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to $19.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, in part driven by the sustained increase in semiconductor demand.

The company specialises in manufacturing front-end high-precision semiconductor components and performs assembly and final testing services. Its key client is Applied Materials, which is among the biggest makers of machinery used to manufacture semiconductors and supports the likes of chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung.

UMS Holdings also works with businesses in other industries such as aerospace and oil and gas.

Andy Luong, chairman and chief executive of UMS Holdings, told The Straits Times: “This is a significant achievement as it affirms that our business model is dynamic and strong, that our vision of constantly doing better and delivering on our commitments to customers and stakeholders has been well-recognised.

“We will continue to look forward - to expand and build on our success in the years ahead.”

Also making the Forbes Asia list were Grand Venture Technology, which provides precision manufacturing solutions and services for semiconductor, life science, medical and other sectors, and Micro-Mechanics, which designs, manufactures and markets high-precision parts for the semiconductor and other high-tech industries.

Other Singapore-headquartered companies on the list were furniture-maker Koda, egg producer Eggriculture Foods, and Nordic Group, which provides systems integration, maintenance, precision engineering and other solutions.

Eggriculture, which produces and sells both fresh chicken eggs and processed egg products, was also named in the 2021 and 2020 lists.

It recently posted a 48 per cent increase in revenue to $22.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, on the back of an enlargement in customer base.

It has several planned expansions under way, with a quail egg farm to be operational in 2023.

The Hour Glass, which sells watches from brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, was among the companies highlighted by Forbes Asia to have captured the momentum of economic reopening following the pandemic.

The retailer has benefited from growing interest in high-quality mechanical watches, it noted in its regulatory filing in May.

Forbes Asia said that the companies were selected based on a composite score that took into account factors such as debt, sales and earnings per share growth, and average returns on equity.

Firms with serious governance issues, questionable accounting, environmental concerns, management issues or legal troubles were excluded from consideration. State-controlled companies and subsidiaries of larger companies were also not considered.

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