Nanofilm names new CEO; continues to see growth momentum for business

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Mainboard-listed Nanofilm Technologies International has appointed Mr Gary Ho Hock Yong as group chief executive with effect from Jan 1, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday (Oct 14).

The tech manufacturer also provided a business update for the third quarter ended Sept 30, noting that it continues to see growth momentum for its businesses year to date despite a volatile business environment amid the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.

Mr Ho is currently Nanofilm's deputy CEO and chief commercial officer, as well as executive director and member of the board risk committee.

He takes over the role of CEO from founder and executive chairman Shi Xu, who had been appointed interim CEO in June after its previous CEO resigned due to health reasons. Mr Shi was CEO of the group from 1999 to 2017.

The group said it will "continue to harness its deep technology capabilities and innovative spirit to deliver solutions that make lives better" under Mr Ho's leadership.

Mr Ho said: "My aim is to drive the development of our business units as they find new and exciting avenues for the commercialisation of our deep technology capabilities."

As for its business update, Nanofilm said it has multiple strategic projects under development and an increasing number of new product introduction projects that will contribute positively to its revenue in the last quarter of financial year 2021 and beyond.

Although its consumer electronics, communication and computers (3C) segment has faced short-term disruptions to its customers' supply chains due to power supply curbs in China, component delays and resurgent chip shortages, underlying demand remains strong. Peak season for the 3C segment - typically from June to October - will likely thus shift to the last quarter of this financial year, or spill into the next.

Under the segment, its smartphone category had registered "substantial growth", which offset the decline in the wearables and accessories, as well as computer categories, Nanofilm said.

The group has also started mass producing its first micro lens array project for new generation wearables that it expects will contribute positively to the performance of its nanofabrication business unit.

Nanofilm said its industrial equipment business unit also "grew substantially" and contributed around 15 per cent of its year-to-date revenue, with orders from the precision engineering industry and advanced materials products.

Meanwhile, Sydrogen Energy - its joint venture with Venezio Investments - will likely make its maiden revenue contribution next year. The joint venture was completed on Oct 1 and has already commenced work in Shanghai and Singapore.

Furthermore, revenue contribution from Nanofilm's other customers had increased to 39 per cent from 33 per cent year-to-date, as part of its efforts to enter new industries and diversify its customer base.

Additionally, the group noted that its agreement to acquire Miller Technologies - a supplier to its industrial equipment business unit - should be completed in the fourth quarter.

Nanofilm said direct contributions by Miller Technologies will likely not be material to its 2021 financial results, but expects to derive synergistic values from cost savings of parts and components.

Nanofilm shares were trading up eight cents, or 2.2 per cent, at $3.72 at 10.27am on Thursday, after the announcements.