Unisem and Frontken post higher earnings on booming tech sector

by S BIRRUNTHA / graphic by TMR

UNISEM (M) Bhd noted higher sales enabled it to post a net profit of RM45.41 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21), against a net loss of RM2.82 million a year ago.

Its revenue for the quarter grew 46.6% to RM373.93 million from continuing operations in 1Q against RM255.15 million recorded in the last corresponding quarter.

The group’s earnings per share jumped 5.73 sen from a loss per share of 0.39 sen previously, according to its filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The semiconductor group said the overall improvement in both net profit and revenue was mainly attributable to higher sales volume.

“The lower profit before taxation was mainly attributable to a difference in product mix, higher payroll cost, higher depreciation charges and the depreciation of the US dollar against ringgit exchange rates,” it said in a statement.

On prospects, Unisem said its directors expect the performance of the group to be satisfactory for the next financial quarter.

Meanwhile, Frontken Corp Bhd posted a net profit of RM22.91 million for 1Q21, an increase of 34.7% from RM17.01 million a year ago on improved revenue and better profit margin.

The group’s quarterly revenue grew 21.97% to RM103.52 million from RM84.87 million previously, mainly due to bigger contributions from the group’s subsidiaries in Taiwan and Malaysia. Its earnings per share also increased 2.19 sen from 1.62 sen previously.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Frontken said volume in the semiconductor space picked up significantly due to higher demand and strong orders from one of its customers’ advanced nodes chips, which benefitted its Taiwan subsidiary.

At the same time, it said the group experienced higher orders from various contracts for provision of manpower supply and also mechanical rotating equipment services that its Malaysian unit has with Petronas Group of Companies.

Moving forward, the group is looking into the advancement and deployment of new innovative technologies following the gradual rollout of 5G networks globally and more widely adopted artificial intelligence applications, coupled with strong demand for its customer’s industry-leading advanced and special technology.

“If the projected multi-year megatrend continues, it will be positive for our business for the remaining months and years to come,” it noted in a statement.

Commenting on the oil and gas (O&G) industry, Frontken said it will remain vigilant in 2021 in view of the strong Brent crude oil price recovery.

Therefore, it added that the group is cautiously optimistic that its O&G division will perform better than last year.

“We are standing ready to embrace new opportunities for profitable growth in an evolving market landscape,” the group noted.

At close yesterday, shares of Frontken ended four sen or 1.27% lower at RM3.37, valuing the company at RM3.35 billion.

Unisem’s shares closed 29 sen or 3.61% lower at RM7.75, valuing the company at RM6.25 billion.

Both Unisem and Frontken did not declare any dividend for the current quarter.