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The Group recorded revenue of HK$4.92 billion (US$634.4 million), representing growth of 10.5% YoY and 15.2% QoQ. This came in well above the top end of revenue guidance between US$530 million and US$590 million.
The Group’s Q4 bookings of HK$5.10 billion (US$658.2 million) were a historical high for its Q4 quarter, an increase of 46.3% YoY and 12.9% QoQ. This excellent result bucked the general seasonal trend for its Q4 bookings tending to be the lowest of the year.
“Although ASMPT was initially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the resilience and adaptability of our employees, suppliers and partners were crucial in enabling our operations to decisively resolve operational constraints and continue delivering on our customer commitments,” explained Robin Ng, ASMPT’s Group Chief Executive Officer. “While the pandemic continues to present challenges, we also see unprecedented opportunity from accelerated digital transformation trends among companies, societies and global economies, for example, the increase in ‘life-from-home’ activities of all kinds. This significant uptick in digital requirements and needs, in tandem with mega-trends in key areas such as 5G technology, HPC and automotive electrification, drove very robust semiconductor demand globally.”
SMT Solutions Segment
The SMT Solutions Segment’s Q4 2020 revenue of HK$1.93 billion (US$249.3 million), representing growth of 1.4% YoY and 10.4% QoQ, was largely attributed to end-market demand for automotive, 5G infrastructure, and industrial applications. At the product level, there was continued strong demand for high-accuracy SMT systems (the Segment’s AP tools) for System-in-Package (SiP) applications. A highlight was the performance of the Segment’s equipment services and spare parts business, which experienced strong pickup in Q4 2020, indicating improving manufacturing activities among its customers, particularly the Eurozone and Americas.
Segment’s Q4 2020 bookings of HK$1.61 billion (US$208.0 million) represented YoY growth of 4.7% and QoQ decline of 9.1%. Notably, despite the QoQ decline in bookings, automotive customers registered a QoQ increase in new order bookings.
Materials Segment (Deconsolidated from 29 December 2020 onwards) Several milestones were achieved by the Materials Segment this quarter. First, Q4 2020 Segment revenue of HK$608.4 million (US$78.5 million) was a record quarterly high, representing growth of 17.8% YoY and 1.0% QoQ. Second, Q4 2020 Segment bookings were also at an all-time quarterly high of HK$903.8 million (US$116.6 million), representing growth of 64.7% YoY and 75.3% QoQ. This bullish order momentum reflects robust semiconductor device demand, which will in turn drive customer demand for packaging and assembly equipment. From 29 December 2020, the financial results of this Segment’s business have been deconsolidated and equity accounted for in the Group’s books, as part of a successful planned Strategic Joint Venture (SJV) with key partners announced in Q2 2020 and completed on schedule on 28 December 2020. The Group retains 44.44% ownership of the SJV, which is named Advanced Assembly Materials International Limited (“AAMI”). AAMI operates as an independent entity and continues to be of significant importance to the Group’s business.
“The Group ended 2020 on a positive note, with very decent foundations for the future. We look ahead with optimism at the broad-based semiconductor growth in 2021 market forecasts across various market applications. In the longer term, mega-trends from 5G innovation, HPC, and automotive electrification remain significant drivers that can sustainably fuel the Group’s performance for the next few years,” noted Ng.
Industry research forecasts for 2021 point to broad-based semiconductor growth, driven by overall accelerated digital transformation trends and a recovering automotive and industrial market.
Since the beginning of 2021, the Semiconductor Solutions Segment has experienced order intake momentum at an unprecedented pace, and consequently, Q1 2021 bookings for the Group are expected to surpass US$700 million. Improving global economic conditions, together with semiconductor inventory replenishments, have resulted in the tightening of global supply chain conditions. While the Group’s supply chain was impacted initially, the Semiconductor Solutions Segment is still expected to deliver strong QoQ revenue growth, offset by a QoQ seasonal decrease in SMT Solutions Segment revenue. Overall, in terms of revenue guidance for Q1 2021, the Group revenue is anticipated to range from US$500 million to US$550 million, which will be a Q1 quarterly revenue record (excluding revenue from the Materials Segment). The Group has aggressively ramped up its capacity to meet delivery commitments to customers over the coming quarters.
Beyond growing revenue, the need to ensure consistent and sustainable long-term profitability led the Group in 2020 to commission a comprehensive strategic review to significantly improve its market position and profitability for the future.
“A number of initiatives will be rolled out over the next few quarters across the Group that include streamlining and enhancing product portfolios, growing market share in both mid and high-end segments of the assembly equipment market, and improving product cost structures,” explained Ng. “We are confident that these will translate to consistently higher and sustainable long term Group profitability.”