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ASM Pacific Technology Limited announced its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2018. Building on the momentum and achievements of the past two years, 2018 was yet another solid year for the Group. Both Group booking and billing attained new records. Group revenue grew 11.6% year-on-year to US$2.49 billion. Group revenue has in fact, consecutively set new records over the past three years. ASMPT reported revenue of HK$19.55 billion in the year ended 31 December 2018, representing an increase of 11.6% as compared with HK$17.52 billion in the previous year.
The Group’s consolidated profit after taxation for the year was HK$2.21 billion, which was 20.9% lower than the previous year. Basic earnings per share for the year amounted to HK$5.47 (2017: HK$6.90). Gross margin of the Group was 38.0%. Group bookings grew 10.0% year-on-year to US$2.57 billion in 2018, setting a new record. Book-to-bill ratio was 1.03. Backlog as of end of the year was US$654.9 million, which was a growth of 21.6% year-on-year. Booking of both the Back-end Equipment Segment and the SMT Solutions Segment achieved year-on-year double-digit growth rates with booking of the SMT Solutions Segment having attained a new record.
“The strong performance of the Group was largely driven by the strong demand of IC/Discrete equipment, lead frames and SMT solutions. All the three business segments achieved new revenue records in both 2017 and 2018. Also, we are pleased to see good progress from businesses that it had acquired over the past few years as the SMT Solutions Segment and ALSI continued to deliver outstanding results. The SMT Solutions Segment saw its revenue exceeded US$1 billion in 2018, with a record segment profit of HK$1.27 billion. ALSI, the laser business that was acquired in 2014, achieved a new record in revenue in 2018 that was around fivefold that of 2014,” said Lee Wai Kwong, chief executive officer of ASMPT.
Exceptionally Strong Year for SMT Solutions Segment
In 2018, the SMT Solutions Segment did exceptionally well. The segment achieved new records in billing, booking and segment profit consecutively for the past two years. In 2018, its revenue grew 19.1% to US$1.03 billion, contributing 41.1% to the Group’s revenue. During the second half of the year, revenue of ASMPT’s SMT Solutions Segment amounted to US$594.3 million, representing growths of 15.3% and 37.9% compared with the same period in 2017 and the preceding six months, respectively, which is a new record.
In the fourth quarter, the Segment set yet another new revenue record with an amount of US$315.5 million, representing growths of 40.3% and 12.9% against the same period of the previous year and the preceding quarter, respectively. Booking of the SMT Solutions Segment grew 16.7% in 2018 to US$1.07 billion, attaining yet another new record. Tremendous demand for automotive electronics, industrial and IoT contributed to the strong growth of the Group’s SMT Solutions business. The Group also expanded its market share in the supply chain for China branded smartphones and made a significant penetration into the India market. Industry 4.0 is yet another huge business growth opportunity for our SMT Solutions Segment as customers are looking for smart factory solutions.
ASMPT’s Back-end Equipment Segment attained consecutive new billing records in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, revenue of the Back-end equipment business grew 7.3% to US$1.18 billion, contributing 47.4% of the Group’s total revenue. The segment continued to retain the No. 1 position in the global market, a position it first attained in 2002. In fact, over the past 17 years, the Group had lost the No. 1 position only once - in 2012. It further widened the revenue gap with its closest rival. ASMPT’s materials segment continued to set new billing records in 2018. Both revenue for the year and revenue for the first half of the year attained new records. Revenue of the segment amounted to US$287.8 million, representing a growth of 5.2% from the previous year.
Positive Outlook for the Coming Years
“While the first three quarters of 2018 had been strong, the Group ended the year with some uncertainties ahead. Both indicators, booking of lead frames and Group booking in the fourth quarter pointed to a possible slowdown of the market in 2019.
However, fundamental drivers for the long-term growth of the global semiconductor industry remain unchanged. Many new technologies and applications such as AI, big data analysis, HPC, data centers, 5G communications, IoT, Industry 4.0, ADAS, VR and AR, to name a few, are driving demand for semiconductor devices. ASMPT is prepared to take advantage of all these new developments as it has created an unparalleled product and solution portfolio through internal development and acquisitions over the past few years. We believe ASMPT has entered into a high growth period.” Lee concluded.