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The Group recorded higher revenue at RM99.4 million in the current quarter as compared to RM47.6 million registered in the corresponding quarter last year, representing an increase of 108.9%. The higher revenue recorded was mainly due to increase in sales from both automated equipment and automated manufacturing solution operating segment. Taking into account the non-recurring expenses of RM7.1 million, the Group recorded a profit before taxation of RM16.5 million in the current quarter. Should the effects of the non-recurring expenses be excluded, the Group would have exhibited a profit before taxation of RM23.6 million, representing an increase of RM14.3 million or 153.0% as compared to profit before taxation of RM9.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Performance of the respective operating segments which includes inter-segment transactions for the current quarter as compared to the previous corresponding quarter is analysed as follows:-
This segment recorded an increase in revenue by RM48.0 million to RM91.1 million as compared to the corresponding quarter last year. The substantial revenue growth of 111.5% was primarily driven by the increase in demand for our testing equipment namely microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) & smart sensor test handler solution from telecommunication market, particularly the smart mobile device sector. The rise in such demand was underpinned by the increasing prevalence of smart sensors in smart mobile devices resulting in the growth in demand for our highly customised testing equipment for these sensors. As a result of higher revenue achieved, this segment recorded a higher profit before taxation of RM23.4 million against profit before taxation of RM11.9 million in the corresponding quarter last year, which represented an increase of 97.7%.
Automated manufacturing solution
This segment recorded revenue of RM12.4 million in the current quarter as compared to RM3.1 million in the corresponding quarter last year, representing an increase of RM9.3 million or approximately 297.3%. This was mainly due to higher demand for the integrated manufacturing solution from a more diversified customer base in the telecommunication and automotive markets as a result of the increase in demand for factory automation with the prevalence of Industry 4.0, rise in labour costs, shortage of skilled talent and the adoption of technology in manufacturing. Consequently, this segment recorded a profit before taxation of RM0.9 million as compared to loss before taxation of RM2.1 million in the previous corresponding quarter.
Smart Control Solution System
The smart control solution system segment recorded revenue of RM1.5 million in the current quarter as compared to RM1.6 million in the corresponding quarter last year, representing a slight decrease of RM0.1 million or approximately 5.8%. This segment recorded a lower loss before taxation of RM0.3 million in the current quarter under review as compared to loss before taxation of RM0.6 million in the corresponding quarter last year due to changes in sales mix.
The Group expects 2018 to be another good year as evidenced by the size of outstanding secured orders received up to 31 March 2018 that is expected to be delivered in 2018. In view of the smart sensing and electric vehicle trends in 2018, the Group expects sales growth momentum to be driven by both the telecommunication and automotive sectors. With the expected completion of the new production plant in June 2018, the Group forecasts better delivery of projects involving large-scale factory automation lines in the second half of the year.