Asti Holdings nearly halves Q4 loss; proposes to pay out 0.5 cent per share

SINGAPORE - Asti Holdings nearly halved its net loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, narrowing its loss to $3.2 million versus $6.3 million for the year-ago period.

The semiconductor manufacturer proposed a cash dividend of 0.5 cent per ordinary share, with no dividend declared for FY2017.

Loss per share stood at 0.49 cent compared to 1.32 cents a year ago. Its shares closed flat at $0.049 on Friday.

Revenue for the three months rose 15.8 per cent to $19.3 million from $16.7 million.

For the full year, Asti posted a net profit of $30.1 million, reversing a loss of $4.4 million for fiscal 2017. Revenue decreased 4.9 per cent to $63.4 million from $66.7 million.

Asti, which is on the Singapore Exchange watch list, was previously granted an extension by the bourse to release its financial statements for the year ended Dec 31, 2018 by March 31.

It said the delay was due to an acquisition of Yumei Technologies Sdn Bhd, Yumei Reit Sdn Bhd and Pioneer Venture by its associate Advanced Systems Automation on Dec 4.

Asti remained cautious about its next quarter prospects, stating its performance may be affected by market uncertainties arising from looming trade disputes.

As a controlling shareholder of investment holding company Dragon Group International (DGI), Asti is working on a cash exit offer proposal that will be issued to DGI's shareholders.

During the fourth-quarter review cycle, a former employee of a DGI subsidiary and his joint venture vehicle had written to Asti to quantify their claims for the purpose of seeking a settlement for negotiations over certain disputes.

Asti said it was not in a position to disclose more now due to the "confidential and privilege nature" of communications.