AGILENT Technologies Inc is bracing itself for a flat growth this year despite projections of some recovery for the semiconductor and the telecommunication sectors in the 2nd half of this year.
Agilent chairman, president and chief executive officer Datuk Edward (Ned) Barnholt said that analysts familiar with the semiconductor and telecommunication sectors forecast some recovery soon.
After experiencing 5 flat quarters in a row, we cannot wait for the market to recover. We are preparing for a flat business environment this year although we expect to see slight recovery in demand for semiconductor components in the 2nd half of 2003, he said.
Barnholt told newsmen this after the opening of 3 new buildings at Agilent Technologies Malaysias factory in the Bayan Lepas free industrial zone in Penang by Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon yesterday.
Barnholt said the Penang operations would, however, continue to grow.
We have plans to engage 500 more employees, comprising mainly engineers and professionals, for the facility in Penang, he said.
Barnholt said that while Agilent revenue had been declining in other parts of the world, its revenue in Malaysia had grown by about 40% over the past 2 years.
Since 1998, Agilent Malaysia has increased its investment to RM3.6bil from RM1.5bil, he said.