Sales mix, strong demand push ECS ICT 1Q profit up

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KUALA LUMPUR: Information and communications technology (ICT) products distributor ECS ICT Bhd saw its net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) almost double to RM9.4 million from RM4.8 million (up 96.2%) a year ago, on the back of a favourable sales mix and strong ICT products spending prior to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) on April 1.

This translates into 1QFY15 basic earnings per share of 5.2 sen compared with 2.7 sen last year.

In a statement yesterday, ECS ICT said its group revenue was up 46.2% to RM522.9 million for the quarter, compared with RM357.7 million in 1QFY14, showing steady growth in its three business segments, namely ICT distribution, enterprise systems and ICT services.

Its chief executive officer Soong Jan Hsung, however, forecast that ICT’s spending in 2QFY15 would moderate as consumers exercise more caution in purchasing due to higher post-GST prices.

“Nevertheless, we believe that ICT’s spending should return to normal in the second half of 2015, especially with pipeline launches of new products and product replacement demand,” he said.

ECS (valuation: 2.4; fundamental: 2) further noted that compared with the same period last year, 1QFY15 ICT distribution segment revenue rose 48.2% to RM372.8 million from RM251.6 million, while the enterprise systems increased to RM137.1 million, up 43.5% from RM95.5 million.

The ICT services segment, on the other hand, grew 21.9% to RM12.9 million from RM10.6 million last year, it said.

ECS ICT shares closed six sen or 3.68% higher at RM1.69 with a market capitalisation of RM304.2 million.

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 8, 2015.