ABM Fujiya to boost exports to Chile and India

KUCHING: Automotive battery manufacturer ABM Fujiya Bhd will increase its export volume to Chile and India, the two newest markets it has penetrated.

Managing director Datuk Tay Tze How said the India and Chile markets remained largely untapped and there was big potential for ABM Fujiya to expand the sales of its battery products there.

“We plan to venture into more new markets abroad. We have visited Brazil and Vietnam and explored the business opportunities,” he said after the company AGM on Friday.

ABM Fujiya, which is Sarawak’s sole automotive battery maker, has four manufacturing plants with a combined annual production capacity of 1.6 million batteries and 2.9 million battery containers and covers.

The products range from conventional lead acid battery to low maintenance battery, MF battery to deep cycle battery and marine application batteries.

Tay said about 50% of the group’s battery production was currently exported to over 50 countries, including in Europe, Indochina and the Middle East. The company is working to increase the export volume of the various products.

He said a modernisation exercise for the manufacturing facilities was on-going as the group beefed up plant automation to enhance operational efficiency.

The group’s research and development (R&D) division was continuously working on new products while embarking on product improvement towards quality enhancement, he said, adding: “We aim to become a one-stop centre to cater to the needs of all customers by supplying small to big size batteries of various types.”

On ABM Fujiya’s plan to set up a battery-recycling plant in Muara Tebas near here, Tay said the company was awaiting for the approval of the project’s building plan from the relevant authorities before it could start construction works.

The company, which has acquired land for the project for about RM18mil, had earlier targeted to commence construction of the proposed plant early next year for trial production in the fourth quarter of 2016.

An estimated RM9.3mil will be invested in the recycling plant with an initial planned production output of 500 tonnes of recycled lead per month.

Upon commissioning of the recycling plant and depending on the price of lead, ABM Fujiya has projected cost savings of between 15% and 30% per tonne of secondary lead.

In the financial year ended Dec 31,2013 (FY13), ABM Fujiya, which made its debut on Bursa Malaysia Main Market on July 23 last year, posted a group net profit of RM6.95mil, which was 3.6% higher than RM6.71mil in FY12 despite a drop in revenue to RM125.3mil from RM134.3mil.

According to company chairman Datuk Tay Chin Kin, the company had raised its shareholders’ equity to RM135.85mil from RM115.38mil while cutting its net debts by RM13.43mil and that the group’s debt-to-equity had been reduced to 0.34 times from 0.52 times.

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