Friday, 6 September 2019


Pentamaster locks in RM238mil sales

Monday, 02 Sep 2019


Pentamaster executive chairman C.B. Chuah checking out test equipment produced for the automotive and semiconductor industries

GEORGE TOWN: Semiconductor automated test equipment maker Pentamaster Corp Bhd
has locked in sales of RM238mil for the third and fourth quarters of 2019, which will boost its growth by double-digit percentage over 2018.

Group chairman CB Chuah (pic) told StarBiz that
  • about 50% of the sales came from the smartphone segment
  • while the remainder were from the automotive, factory automation and medical device industries.

The average pricing of each test equipment starts from US$500,000 onwards.

“This year, the demand for smartphones has contracted. Its contribution to group revenue is expected to shrink to about 55% from 70% previously.

“The electric vehicle (EV) and factory automation solution segments are growing, ” Chuah said.

The EV segment, for example, is expected to contribute 15% this year compared to 10% a year ago. “We expect the EV segment to generate about 25% of group revenue by 2021, ” he added.

The group is now in talks with a few EV customers interested to purchase testers from Pentamaster to test the power converters used in EVs.

“These customers are from Europe, China and the United States, ” he said.

Chuah said the group would allocate more financial resources to expand its EV business segment. “We see huge potential in the EV business. During the first six months of the year, the global sales of pure EVs increased by 92% to 765,000 units, according to Jato, a leading provider of automotive market intelligence.

“This total is the volume sold in 41 markets around the world.

China’s commitment to electrification and Tesla’s sales growth were the main factors driving the growth in the first half of 2019, ” he added.

On the smartphone market, this is the worst slowdown in three years, according to Chuah.

“New smartphones are not equipped with fresh and innovative features, which is why sales have slowed.  Due to economic uncertainties, consumers are also not changing their phones.We expect to see a recovery in 2020, ” Chuah said.

According to the Connecticut-based Gartner Inc research house, worldwide sales of smartphones to end-users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019, a 2.5% decline year-on- year.

“Gartner analysts expect smartphone sales to grow again in 2020, driven by the broader availability of 5G models and the promotion of 5G service packages in various parts of the world by communications service providers. Analysts also expect the first 5G Apple iPhone to launch in 2020, which should entice iPhone users to upgrade, ” Gartner said.


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