The semiconductor assembly and packaging solutions supplier, ASM Pacific Technology Limited announces 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 a 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%.
The Board of Directors recommends a final dividend of HK$1.40 (2017: final dividend of HK$1.30) per share. Group bookings grew 10.0% year-on-year to US$2.57 billion in 2018, setting a new record.
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.
Lee Wai Kwong, Chief Executive Officer of ASMPT, said, “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.”
ASMPT’s Back-end Equipment Segment attained consecutive new billing records in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, revenue of our 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.
The IC/discrete market led the growth of ASMPT’s Back-end equipment business in the year. It was the largest market by revenue for the segment and delivered a year-on-year growth of over 24% in 2018. Automotive electronics, IoT (Internet of Things), power management, radio frequency (RF) filters and Advanced Packaging were the drivers of growth in this market segment.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is widely expected to experience fast growth and will boost the semiconductor industry and the world GDP, the Group’s TCB (Thermo-Compression Bonding) solution is now widely adopted by many customers for their development and production of advanced logic chips. It is also working with customers to develop the next-generation production process for HBM (high bandwidth memory).
For Advanced Packaging, the acquisition of the ASM NEXX business in the fourth quarter further strengthened the Group’s position in Advanced Packaging as evident in its significant contribution to the booking of our Back-end Equipment Segment in the last quarter of 2018.
The Group is confident that its investment in Advanced Packaging over the past few years has put ASMPT well ahead of its peers and anticipates that contribution from Advanced Packaging will further increase in 2019, helping the Group to sail through industry low cycles like the one that has been expected for 2019 by many industry analysts and participants.
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.
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.
“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.