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Sunningdale more optimistic about US and China markets

By: Gurdip Singh

February 26, 2013

SINGAPORE — Sunningdale Tech Ltd. said the United States and Chinese markets seem more positive this year compared to last year, but the company remains concerned about uncertainty in Europe.

"The relatively greater stability of the euro and U.S. dollars against our operating currencies in recent months have helped somewhat to alleviate pricing pressure from customers.

"But the rising cost of raw materials and significant labor cost increases in Malaysia and China, where we have large operations, will continue to squeeze our margins," cautioned Sunningdale CEO Khoo Boo Hor.

"We expect our automotive business to continue to be challenging in 2013. We expect our orders from Europe to remain flat due to European economic uncertainties. Although the U.S. automotive market has shown growth, it has not returned to pre-crisis level yet," he said in the 2012 annual financial report.

The group was awarded several large programs last year but mass production won't begin until 2014, Khoo said.

One of Sunningdale plants has suffered from low utilization as a result of a shift in business by one of the company's major consumer/information technology customers. But Khoo said Sunningdale's efforts to develop new customers have helped to partially close the gap.

For 2012, the Singapore-based tooling manufacturer and injection molder reported a net profit of S$9.56 million (US$7.71 million), up from a loss of S$11.8 million (US$9.52 million) in 2011.

2012 sales were up 5.9 percent to S$451.33 million (US$364.1 million), the company reported Feb. 26.