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Friday April 18, 2008

VisDynamics in talks to sell test device

KUALA LUMPUR: Automated test equipment (ATE) manufacturer VisDynamics Holdings Bhd is eyeing opportunities to market its proprietary laser-based inspection technology in photovoltaic and printed circuit board electronics.

Chief executive officer Choy Ngee Hoe said one of the largest photovoltaic companies from the US was expected to set up a new facility in Malacca, which could pave the way for the company to move upstream in the semiconductor process.

“They need technology to inspect wafers and we believe we have a solution for them,” he said after the company AGM, adding that talks with the company were still preliminary at the moment.

Despite the softening outlook for the global semiconductor industry, Choy said there were still “bright spots” for the company's solutions, especially in the energy, safety and health sectors.

Choy Ngee Hoe

“Integrated circuits play a big part in energy conservation and efficiency while security systems and healthcare are becoming more technologically sophisticated. I am optimistic of our outlook as the customers we have in the power industry are doing pretty well,” he said.

The company also planned to cut cost to help cushion the strengthening of the ringgit against the greenback, as a significant part of VisDynamics' sales were billed in US dollars, he added.

“Our gross profit margin for the financial year ended Oct 31, 2007 (FY07) was 50%. It used to be 60%-70%. So we now have an opportunity to drive our cost down through our value innovation growth strategy. This is a tactic to reduce or eliminate features in a product according to the value that customers want,” he said.

For FY07, VisDynamics' revenue rose 52% to RM9.6mil while pre-tax profit grew 6% to RM251,827.

The strong revenue growth was due to higher demand for the company's gravity-type semiconductor back-end equipment and growing acceptance of its tray-type semiconductor back-end equipment, which was launched in September.

“We spent a lot of money on promotional activities last year to market our tray-based systems. Next year, we hope the acceptance level for our tray-based systems will be at par with our gravity-based systems,” Choy said.

Chairman Khairil Anuar Abdullah said the ATE industry was undergoing consolidation and this would help strengthen VisDynamics' competitiveness globally.

“The whole industry is moving towards this part of the world. The major players are China, the Philippines and Malaysia but we also have cost and supply chain advantage,” he said.

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