Pentamaster and Elsoft expect record turnover

Pentamaster executive chairman C.B. Chuah checking out test equipment produced for the automotive and semiconductor industries

GEORGE TOWN: Two semiconductor equipment manufacturers expect to achieve record-breaking turnover for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), riding on the growing demand for smart sensors and LED lighting modules used in smartphones.

Both Pentamaster Corp Bhd and Elsoft Research Bhd are confident that revenue this year would increase more than 30% over 2017.

Pentamaster chairman C.B. Chuah told StarBiz that for the nine months of FY18, the group’s RM310mil revenue and RM38.3mil net profit was already higher than the RM284mil and RM35.9mil achieved, respectively, for the whole of 2017.

“Based on the RM280mil worth of orders that have come in for fourth-quarter 2018 and first-quarter 2019, we are confident that 2018 revenue growth would exceed 30% from last year’s figure.

“There will also be significant improvement in net profit, which we expect to be the best in the group’s history,” Chuah added.

According to Chuah, the smart-sensor test equipment division would generate about 65% of Pentamaster’s 2018 revenue, while another 15% would come from the automotive segment and the remainder from its semiconductor business.

“We will produce more higher-range test equipment for the smart-sensor market that can generate better yield. These test equipment are priced from US$500,000,” he added.

Elsoft chief executive officer C.E. Tan said the group was on track to achieving its best results.

“Our nine-month results had also surpassed the turnover and net profit of last year.

“Elsoft posted RM65mil in turnover on the back of a RM33.7mil net profit for the nine months ended Sept 30, which is higher than the RM61.3mil and RM27mil registered, respectively, for the whole of 2017.

“We expect to see a revenue growth of over 30%. This is an achievable goal as the average earnings per quarter in 2018 is about RM20mil,” he said.

Tan said the smart-sensor segment contributed 60% of the group’s revenue, while the automotive and general lighting segments 30% and 10%, respectively.

Meanwhile, MMS Ventures Bhd managing director T.K. Sia said the group’s revenue and net profit would decline between 30% and 40% from last year.

Last year, it posted RM75mil in turnover on the back of RM21mil in net profit.

“The orders dropped because there are few changes in the flash lighting features of smartphones.

“Our test equipment are designed to check the flash lenses and the lighting modules.

“Since the flash lighting features had remained more or less the same, our sales were affected,” he added.

However, Sia said the group had received orders for 25 units of test equipment with a market value of about RM30mil for the first half of next year.

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