SINGAPORE (Feb 27): Precision engineering group UMS Holdings saw a near trebling of its 4Q17 earnings to $15.8 million from $6 million a year ago on higher revenue and a one-off gain.

Revenue for 4Q grew 13% to $38.7 million from $34.2 million due to higher sales from the semiconductor segment, driven by a higher proportion of contributions from component sales which grew to $19.3 million from $13.9 million 4Q16.

Singapore remained the major contributor, accounting for more than 60% of the group’s total sales in the latest quarter.

A one off-gain of $2.2 million under other credits was recorded compared to a charge of $2.5 million a year ago, mainly attributable due to a $1.8 million gain on disposal of property, plant & equipment as well as a reversal of allowance for inventories obsolescence amounting to $1 million.

For the full year, UMS Holdings posted earnings of $52 million in FY17, which is more than double than its FY16 earnings of $22.6 million as its revenue surged 56% to $162.5 million compared to $104.2 million in FY16.

Cash and cash equivalents was $40.6 million as at end-2017, with $39.2 million in positive net cash from operating activities in FY17.

A final dividend of 2 cents and a special dividend of 1 cent has been proposed for the period under review.

Looking ahead, the group expects its prospects to remain bright for FY18, driven by the continued rise in wafer processing equipment and global semiconductor demand.

"The global semiconductor super cycle will continue to drive growth for UMS as order flow remains strong with our key customer, one of the world’s largest suppliers of fabrication equipment to semiconductor industry - is forecasting double-digit revenue and profit growth in 2018 as it remains a direct beneficiary of the boom in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data," says UMS chairman and CEO, Andy Luong.

"We believe that the global smart device ‘explosion’ will drive revenue growth through 2018 and beyond,” he adds.

Shares in UMS Holdings closed 1 cent lower at $1.14 on Tuesday.