SINGAPORE – Singapore-headquartered electronics and semiconductors solutions provider ASM Pacific Technology (ASMPT) posted robust results for the third quarter of 2021 on Wednesday (Oct 27), buoyed by under-investments in semiconductor capital equipment and rising global demand.

The Hong Kong-listed company posted a net profit of HK$1 billion (S$173.3 million) for the period, up 480.6 per cent from the same quarter a year ago.

It noted that it saw bookings of HK$5.72 billion for the three months ended Sept 30, 2021, up 42.8 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

While bookings declined 21.9 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, this was attributed to high base effects seen in the second quarter and in line with past seasonal trends, the group said.

“In the face of a more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, ASMPT has been able to continue growing and to become more innovative and efficient,” said group chief executive Robin Ng.

The group noted that it navigated Covid-19 induced constraints, industry-wide semiconductor shortages and both supply chain and logistics bottlenecks through managing its manufacturing capacity allocation and inventory strategy.

It was able to deliver at record levels by leveraging a significantly higher proportion of external manufacturing capacity to support internal manufacturing, ASMPT said, referring to how it has outsourced the production of some orders.

To avoid disruptions to its supply chain, the company said it maintained strategic levels of inventory for key electronics and electrical components and made spot purchases for some critical components.

“While these actions inevitably caused some direct cost pressure, the group continued to strategically adjust its pricing wherever possible in order to mitigate this impact.”

Looking ahead, Mr Ng acknowledged that supply chain disruptions will likely continue to impact manufacturing and that these challenges will persist into 2022.

He added that ASMPT has started looking into potentially redesigning some of its modules to overcome production bottlenecks arising from component shortages.

“We (have) also started looking into certain key components – if we continue to face shortages like this, what can we do from a R&D (research and development) standpoint?

“We (would) probably have to resort to redesigning some of our modules, for example, to use other more easily available components,” he said.

Despite disruptions such as supply chain bottlenecks and other Covid-19 factors, ASMPT noted that it expects to report robust revenue in the fourth quarter and to achieve a new group record for the full year, given its strong backlog of orders.

Mr Ng also pointed to positive projections for the overall semiconductor industry, bolstered by artificial intelligence and 5G.

“Our business is really dependent on the number of chips that are produced and need to be packaged and assembled.

“So on the whole, we believe 2022 still looks healthy for the whole semiconductor industry,” he said, adding that ASMPT “will definitely benefit” from this trend.