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Product mix strategy maintains top line growth at 20%, says Hsu Fu Chi5pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.25in; background-color: transparent">US$961,000US$848,000+13
Tour of Nico Steel Technology (electroplating line)

A 15-minute drive from Nico Steel Centre brought us to Nico Steel Technology where Nico Steel’s new electroplating operation is situated.

A key point to note is that with China’s focus on environmental protection, the Chinese government has tightened regulations on issuing electroplating licenses in an effort to battle the constant dumping of untreated waste from electroplating processes into rivers and water
systems.

Nico Steel’s newly-awarded electroplating licence, hence, is a boon to the company, enhancing its value-added services to its customers.

Nico believes it has uniquely positioned itself by developing strong marketing relationships with the end users of its products.

These relationships help Nico to go directly to the end-users where they may pre-approve or even request for Nico's products when dealing with contract manufacturers. This is especially important if its product is a replacement for a widely-used industry standard.

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Linair Technologies


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Linair's manufacturing facility.
Linair CEO Jemme Ong
gave an overview of each business operation of Linair and their respective industries.

Linair has businesses relating to air ducts, biodiesel and engineering.

The duct manufacturing industry is competitive and fragmented, with many small players.

The
barriers to entry, however, for the manufacturing of FM Approved ETFE-coated ducts are high.

Linair is the only provider of FM Approved ETFTcoated ducts in Southeast Asia.

 LinairFP ’07 (ended Sept 31 ‘07)FY’06% change

Revenue

S$51.7 m S$22.4 m+130
Net profitS$2.0 mS$1.1 m+79

Note: FP’07 denotes 12-month period ended Sept ’07.
FY’07 is a 15-month period ended Dec 31 ’07, following a decision by the company to change its year-end.

Prospects for the biotechnology industry in the region remain favourable, driven by continued economic growth and strong backing from several Asian
governments, which have identified biotechnology as a top strategic priority and an industry with tremendous growth potential.

With heightened awareness and pressure to reduce CO2
emission in China, there will be demand in China for environmental control and alternative “clean” energy.

Linair is currently exploring opportunities in other industries that require its expertise and skills. 
Linair is also exploring M&A opportunities to expand its range of services.

The Group highlighted that foreseeable demand for the ducts is larger than existing supply. As a result, management feels confident to embark on an e
xpansion strategy in 2008.

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IVC units for storing experimental animals like mice.
Tour of Linair Plant (Suzhou)


Linair’s plant is located in Suzhou Industrial Park, the biggest cooperation program between China and Singapore committed to develop into a high-tech industrial park with international competitiveness and a modern, international garden-like township.

Leveraging on Linair’s expertise in the design and provision of critical airflow control systems, the Group has developed 2 proprietary laboratory air-flow control products - the laboratory fume hood and IVC.

The laboratory fume hood is used for removing toxic gases and fumes, while the IVC is used for storing experimental
animals like mice.

Following the plant visit, Linair announced that it has sold 42 units of the IVC System to National Laboratory Animal Centre, Taiwan. The contract value was NTD 43.9 million (approximately S$2 million).

This is a significant milestone as the Group beat many overseas IVC brands to secure the contract.

FY2008 will be the start of a new era of growth for Linair, as explained in the FY2007 results announcement. China will be a key growth driver in 2008 as the Group undertakes measures to enhance manufacturing productivity.

ImageYen Tan is a consultant with Financial PR, Singapore's largest investor relations company.

Part 2 of her report to be published on Friday will be on two other companies: Global Ariel and Link Hi.
 

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