KESM sees stronger 4Q earnings, plans three sen dividend

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 23, 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: KESM Industries Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2015 (4QFY15) rose 56.4% to RM10.45 million or 24.3 sen per share compared with RM6.68 million or 15.5 sen per share a year ago, primarily due to foreign currency translation income.

The period saw a foreign currency translation income of RM3.11 million compared with a loss of RM7,000 in 4QFY14, its filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday showed.

The semiconductor device testing firm’s revenue for the period was flattish at RM68.94 million compared with RM68.65 million in 4QFY14, with the marginal increase attributable to the appreciation of the US dollar against the ringgit on US dollar-denominated receivables.

KESM proposed a dividend payout of three sen per share, subject to shareholders’ approval in its forthcoming annual general meeting. For the cumulative 12 months ended July 31, 2015 (FY15), net profit jumped 56.5% to RM17.03 million or 39.6 sen per share from RM10.88 million or 25.3 sen per share in FY14.

Revenue for the period increased to RM263.12 million from RM254.37 million, primarily due to higher demand for burn-in and testing services.

In a statement, KESM executive chairman and chief executive officer Sam Lim said testing of semiconductor chips is the group’s growth engine, and the bulk of its expansion is testing devices for the automotive market. “More than one billion units of automotive devices were shipped last year from our factories in Malaysia and China to our customers, who are leaders in this market segment, and in support of this, KESM has invested close to RM70 million in the newest and most advanced range of burn-in and test equipment,” Lim said.

He added that KESM would continue to focus on high-growth opportunities in the semiconductor industry, which is forecasting a 2.2% growth this year with revenues surpassing the US$300 billion (RM1.29 trillion) mark. “Demand for intelligent cars with enhanced features such as safety, connectivity and mobility requires increasing volume of semiconductor chips in each vehicle. Our customers are rolling new innovative chips to the market at a faster pace to meet demand,” Lim noted.