SINGAPORE (Feb 26): Fu Yu Corp, the manufacturer of precision plastic parts and moulds. reported a 21.7% rise in 4Q earnings to $2.9 million from a year. For FY18, the group registered earnings of $11.9 million, surging from $4.5 million in FY17.

For 4Q18, Fu Yu reported revenue of $48.1 million, down 8.8% from $52.7 million in 4Q17 which saw exceptionally higher customer orders. The group’s operations in Singapore reported higher revenue in 4Q18 and partially offset the declines in sales from its Malaysia and China operations.

For FY2018, the group’s revenue edged higher by 1.4% to $197.7 million from $195.0 million in FY17, mainly due to higher sales of its Singapore and Malaysia segments. Sales from the Singapore operations increased 15.4% to $47.3 million, driven mainly by higher sales of products in the automotive, medical and consumer segments. Sales of the Malaysia segment also rose 6.5% to $38.1 million due mainly to higher sales of products in the consumer and medical segments.

The increase in revenue generated from the Singapore and Malaysia operations offset lower sales from the China segment in FY18. The China operations registered revenue of $112.3 million in FY18, down 5.0% from $118.2 million in FY17. This was due mainly to reduced sales of networking & communications products, which was buffered partly by higher sales of products in the consumer segment.

Gross profit decreased 13.9% to $8.7 million in 4Q18 from $10.1 million in 4Q17. Correspondingly, gross profit margin softened slightly to 18.1% in 4Q18 from 19.1% in 4Q17 due mainly to lower revenue and a change in sales mix.

For FY18, the group’s gross profit increased 5.9% to $35.3 million from $33.3 million in FY17. As gross profit grew at a faster pace than revenue, gross profit margin increased to 17.8% in FY18 compared to 17.1% in FY17. This was attributed mainly to a shift in sales mix and the group’s continual efforts to streamline cost and raise operational efficiencies.

Fu Yu’s board has proposed a final tax exempt dividend of 1.0 cent per share for FY18. Together with the interim dividend of 0.6 cent per share, the group’s total dividend in respect of FY18 would be 1.6 cents per share.

In its outlook, Fu Yu says the operating environment in FY2019 is expected to remain challenging. While ongoing trade tensions have not had a direct impact on the group thus far, an escalation of the trade war will adversely affect the global economy and lead to increased business risks for the group. The group’s financial performance is also influenced by other factors such as intensifying industry competition, pressure on selling prices and movements in the US Dollar.

Shares in Fu Yu closed 0.5 cent higher at 21 cents on Tuesday.