API TO DE­VELOP NEW PROD­UCT FOR EX­PORT

Com­pany stays bullish de­spite chal­lenges, in­clud­ing high raw ma­te­rial prices

New Straits Times - - Business -

SHAREN KAUR

KUALA LUMPUR sharen@me­di­aprima.com.my

ASIA Poly Hold­ings Bhd, the maker of cast acrylic sheets, will de­velop new heat man­age­ment acrylic sheets for the ex­port mar­ket.

Its sub­sidiary, Asia Poly In­dus­trial (API) Sdn Bhd, will pro­duce the en­ergy-sav­ing sheets and ex­port them to South Korea, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, Brazil, the Mid­dle East, Eng­land and In­dia in a bid to im­prove revenue.

For its fis­cal year 2016, API reg­is­tered a 2.46 per cent growth in revenue to RM58.2 mil­lion de­spite global eco­nomic un­cer­tain­ties.

The com­pany achieved a net profit of RM4.12 mil­lion last year.

API ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor (in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing, con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment) Michael Yap is bullish about its prospects de­spite sev­eral chal­lenges.

“Higher op­er­at­ing cost as a re­sult of ris­ing wages, cost of util­i­ties, cur­rency de­pre­ci­a­tion, volatile oil and raw ma­te­rial prices and com­pe­ti­tion are key con­cerns that may af­fect sales and prof­itabil­ity.

“How­ever, the prospects of cast acrylic sheets are still promis­ing. Bar­ring un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances, we ex­pect to achieve a sat­is­fac­tory re­sult for the cur­rent fis­cal year.”

Yap also ex­pects a big de­mand for its new heat man­age­ment acrylic sheets.

“The new prod­uct is able to re­duce the amount of sun­light en­ter­ing a build­ing, thus mak­ing the environment cooler.

“This will re­sult in less elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion when you use the air-con­di­tioner,” he told NST Busi­ness.

With the con­tin­ued global short­age of the main raw ma­te­rial, methyl methacry­late monomer (MMA), used in the pro­duc­tion of the sheets, Yap ex­pects fur­ther hikes in prices.

As such, the big­gest chal­lenge for API was to get a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of MMA at a com­pet­i­tive price, he said.

“In ad­di­tion, the un­cer­tain­ties in the for­eign ex­change mar­ket may also af­fect our in­dus­try. If the US dol­lar be­comes too strong, it will be too costly for our over­seas buy­ers.

“Due to the per­sis­tent in­crease in raw ma­te­rial prices, our profit mar­gin was eroded,” he said.

In 2014, the mar­ket price of MMA reached a high of US$2,200 (RM9,550) per tonne be­fore fall­ing to US$1,280 per tonne in March last year. The cur­rent mar­ket price of MMA was US$1,965 per tonne, said Yap.

“We ab­sorbed part of the cost. We as­sure our clients of un­com­pro­mis­ing qual­ity and im­proved de­liv­ery time.

“Ex­pe­ri­enced acrylic traders are aware of the cycli­cal na­ture of the mar­ket. When the MMA price goes into a down­trend, we will also ad­just the pric­ing down­wards to stay com­pet­i­tive,” he added.

Asia Poly In­dus­trial Sdn Bhd ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor (in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing, con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment) Michael Yap (sec­ond from left) with (from left) se­nior tech­ni­cal man­ager Loh Poh Ming, sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Kua Chy Heng and fi­nance man­ager Ch’ng Siew Lei.

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