Malaysian Tycoons’ UWC Profit Nearly Doubles Amid Global Semiconductor Boom

Malaysian Tycoons’ UWC Profit Nearly Doubles Amid Global Semiconductor Boom

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Penang-based engineering services firm UWC has reported that net profit for the nine months ended April 30 nearly doubled, as orders surged for its semiconductors’ testing equipment from global chipmakers.

Nine-month net profit climbed 85% to 72 million ringgit ($17.5 million), the company said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia. UWC is on track to report record earnings for this year, with the nine-month net profit already surpassing the $58 million ringgit posted in the previous full-year ended July 31, 2020.

UWC was cofounded by CEO Ng Chai Eng, 57, and COO Lau Chee Kheong, 58, in 1990 initially as a metal fabricator that expanded into making elevator parts before evolving into the manufacture of chip testers and medical equipment.

The duo debuted on the Malaysia Rich List published this month following a three-fold increase in the market cap of UWC.

Ng, who started his career as an electrician, has a net worth of $450 million, while Lau, who began as a supervisor at an autoparts firm, has a net worth of $445 million.

“Semiconductor orders remain very strong,” UWC added in the statement as it released its latest quarterly result. “The group continues to broaden its customer base by securing new customers, as well as working closely with the existing customers in new product developments.”

The company also said it’s shifting its focus on more profitable and higher margin projects, including the production of automated chip testers and 5G testing equipment.

At the same time, it expects demand for medical equipment used in detecting the Covid-19 virus to remain robust following a recent spike in infections.     

To cope with increasing demand, the company has been boosting its production capacity by adding new machinery including robotic arms to its factories, utilizing the 57 million ringgit raised from UWC’s initial public offering in 2019.

With the new capacity, UWC said it will be able to meet the robust global demand for semiconductors and help ease the ongoing chip supply shortage particularly in the automotive sector.

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