SINGAPORE (Feb 21): Hi-P International, the global contract manufacturer of smart phones, tablet computers and other consumer electronics, reported 4Q18 earnings fell 24.9% to $14.8 million from $44.8 million for 4Q17.

Amid uncertain economic conditions, 4Q18 revenue decreased 10.2% to $441.9 million from a year ago as a result of a decline in market demand from various segments.

Gross profit decreased 19.3% y-o-y to $78.4 million for 4Q18 mainly due to the decline in revenue, increasingly competitive pricing and a slower pace of decrease in labour costs.

Correspondingly, gross profit margin decreased to 17.7% for 4Q18 from 19.8% for 4Q17.

Other income increased by $5.2 million to $8.6 million mainly due to a pre-tax gain of $6.1 million derived from the dilution of interest in Hi-Flex (Suzhou) Electronics Co.

Total selling, distribution and administrative expenses increased 8.7% to $25 million mainly due to higher staff costs from annual salary increment.

Other expenses decreased 17.5% to $6 million mainly due a decrease in net loss arising from net foreign exchange differences and fair value differences on hedging contracts.

For FY18, earnings fell 17% to $100.9 million while revenue decreased 1.7% to $1.4 billion.

The Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of 4 cents bringing total dividends for FY218 to 5 cents.

In its outlook, Hi-P expects similar revenue and profit for FY19 compared to FY18.

Shares in Hi-P closed 5.5 cents higher at $1.05 on Thursday.