Digital enhanced phones keep SunCorp on turnaround path

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2002, 12:00am

Cordless phone-maker SunCorp Technologies has sustained a turnaround in its manufacturing business, reporting a HK$10.03 million profit for the first half.

It was the firm's second consecutive profitable half-year, following a HK$23.55 million loss for the period to June 30 last year.

Turnover jumped 35 per cent to HK$279.09 million, thanks to higher sales of its digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (dect) phones.

Sales of dect phones accounted for 27 per cent of revenue in the first half of this year, up from 15 per cent last year.

British Telecom, SunCorp's single largest customer, accounted for 61 per cent of sales, down from about 74 per cent last year. New customers accounted for 18 per cent of turnover.

Britain accounted for 63 per cent of turnover, other European countries 26 per cent, and Asia-Pacific the remaining 11 per cent.

Chairman Peter Amour expected growth to continue in the second half.

'The global environment remains challenging. However, we continue to see strong demand for our products in key markets and the second half of the year is traditionally the stronger half for us,' Mr Amour said.

'Barring unforeseen circumstances, we look forward to reporting at year-end on a continuing improvement in sales and profitability.'

Last month, SunCorp announced its creditor banks had agreed to extend the repayment of HK$15.6 million in outstanding convertible notes by 12 months until September next year.

At the beginning of this year, SunCorp had net liabilities of HK$32.39 million, with negative cash flow of HK$16.69 million.

SunCorp took over the former HB International Holdings, which was on the verge of collapse with more than HK$700 million in debt, in 1998 and began debt restructuring. Bankers agreed to a haircut (a reduction in principal) of more than 60 per cent on their HK$400 million in loans. The phone manufacturer posted a maiden profit of HK$12 million last year.

No dividend was declared. SunCorp shares fell 1.25 per cent to 39.5 cents but the counter is up almost 18 per cent so far this year.