Pentamaster profit after tax to rise 5%        

By David Tan in Penang

Pentamaster Corp Bhd, scheduled for listing on July 23, expects to achieve 5.6% increase in its after-tax profit for the year ending Dec 31, 2003, on revenue of RM60mil, according to group chief executive officer Chuah Choon Bin. 

“We are targeting to achieve some RM13.2mil in profit after tax, compared with RM12.5mil registered last year,” he told StarBiz, adding that the revenue was RM54mil last year.  

Chuah Choon Bin

Chuah said the group was optimistic of achieving its target because it had received orders for its new range of test handlers and shop floor management solution software from customers from Europe and China. 

“Since January this year, we have sold more than RM10mil worth of such equipment. Our test handlers are about 40% cheaper than those made in the US and Europe. 

“Our recently launched shopfloor management solution software, priced more than 50% lower than those produced by our rivals in the US and Europe, is expected to start contributing significantly to group revenue this year,” he said. 

Chuah said the software, sold at between RM500,000 and RM4mil, was generally used in the semiconductor, food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries.  

Some 60% of the group’s products were exported, 35% sold to the local operations of multi-national corporations and 5% were for domestic consumption. 

“We plan to establish a marketing office in the US this year. We already have sales offices in Europe and China and have appointed agents in Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and India,” he said. 

Chuah said the group also planned to start exporting to Eastern Europe, Africa and Vietnam this year. 

“As part of our marketing strategy, we attended the Semicon China 2003 and Hanover Fair in Germany in the 1st quarter of 2003. We are looking forward to taking part in the Semicon Taiwan 2003 in September,” he said. 

Chuah also said the group raised RM15.9mil from rights issue completed last December. 

“We will use RM10.3mil to partly finance construction of the new RM18mil plant in Bayan Lepas, which is capable of producing 60 to 70 test equipment in one go. 

“The remainder will be used to purchase machinery and for working capital,” he added. 

Upon listing, Pentamaster will have a paid-up capital of RM40mil.  

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