CSE Global reports 22.5 per cent drop in fourth-quarter earnings

SINGAPORE - Technology company CSE Global has posted a 22.5 per cent drop in fourth-quarter earnings to $8.1 million, as revenue slid amid the challenging business environment.

Revenue from continuing operations for the three months to Dec 31 fell 14.6 per cent to $98.8 million, despite gross margins rising 4.4 per cent to 31.1 per cent.

Net profit for the full year dropped 3.7 per cent to $34.1 million, while revenue dipped 1.1 per cent to $412 million. The lower bottomline was driven mainly by lower revenues in the Australia region, though partially offseted by higher revenues recognised in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the group.

Earnings per share for the quarter was 1.56 cents, down from 2.01 cents previously. Net asset value per share was 46.77 cents as at Dec 31, up from 40.73 cents as at the same time the year before.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 1.25 cents per share, along with a special dividend of 0.25 cents. This brings the total dividend for the year to 2.75 cents, unchanged from previously.

CSE Global said it received a strong order intake from greenfield and brownfield projects during the fourth quarter, totalling S$70.8 million, which took the full-year order intake to S$351 million. Its order book stood at S$192.7 million as at the end of last year.

Group managing director Lim Boon Kheng noted that the outlook remains sluggish as the group continues to see "a lack of large greenfield projects amid the challenging global economic outlook and low commodity prices".

But he added that there will be "pockets of opportunities" for the CSE Global this year, adding that the overall businesses of its major subsidiaries "should remain resilient" as the group continues to focus on cash generation and look for new growth prospects.

CSE Global shares closed flat at 42 cents , before the results were released.