7 Singapore companies on Forbes Asia's Best Under A Billion 2023 list

Top performing companies on the Forbes list were concentrated in chipmaking and related industries.

Facade of a The Hour Glass shop (left), hands holding an egg from Eggriculture Foods (right), illustrating a story on the Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list.
Seven Singapore companies made it to this year's Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list. (PHOTO: Screengrab from The Hour Glass, Eggriculture Foods) (The Hour Glass)

SINGAPORE — Seven Singapore companies made it to this year's Forbes Asia's Best Under A Billion list.

The annual list, released on Thursday (10 August), highlights 200 small and midsized publicly traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region with annual sales above US$10 million and below US$1 billion.

The companies were selected out of a wider pool of over 20,000 companies, and the candidates were selected based on a composite score that incorporated their overall track record in measures such as debt, sales and earnings-per-share growth over both the most recent fiscal periods (one- and three-year), and the strongest average returns (one- and five-year) on equity. The list is unranked.

The seven Singapore companies that are on this year's list are:

  1. Choo Chiang Holdings, an electrical products distributor and retailer with a revenue of US$64 million in 2022.

  2. Eggriculture Foods, a fresh and processed egg producer with a revenue of US$70 million in 2022.

  3. Food Empire Holdings, a food and beverage company with a revenue of US$398 million in 2022.

  4. Nordic Group, an engineering company with a revenue of US$118 million in 2022.

  5. Singapore Shipping, a logistics and shipping company with a revenue of US$47 million in 2022.

  6. The Hour Glass, a luxury watch and jewellery distributor with a revenue of US$817 million in 2022.

  7. UMS Holdings, a semiconductor chip manufacturer with a revenue of US$270 million in 2022.

In its news release, Forbes Asia said that companies on this year's list outperformed despite stiff global headwinds like inflation and rising funding costs. Companies that stood out in the list were mostly in chipmaking and related industries.

"Demand for semiconductors, found in everyday items like smartphones, appliances and cars, skyrocketed in the past three years with the accelerating adoption of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies although the market is expected to soften somewhat this year as supply constraints ease," said Forbes Asia.

Other top performers on the list were companies delivering IT solutions that helped to digitally transform healthcare, logistics, manufacturing and other industries. Businesses that rely on consumer spending, such as restaurants, entertainment and sports, also saw an uptick in sales with the removal of COVID-19-related restrictions.

Forbes list returnees

There were 58 returnees to this year's list, among them Aspeed Technology, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of semiconductors, which has made the Best Under A Billion list for 10 consecutive years. Its sales and net income totalled US$175 million and US$71 million in the past year respectively.

Singapore-based UMS Holdings makes its second consecutive showing on the list, as strong global demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment boosted the chipmaker's net profit by 77 per cent to US$71 million. It made 2022 the company's most profitable year yet.

Indonesia's Impack Pratama Industri, a construction materials manufacturer, also made a return to the list. The company saw growth despite the pandemic, and its net profit surged 50 per cent last year to US$21 million while revenue gained 26 per cent to US$189 million, most of which came from roofing and ceiling materials.

Taiwan-based Alchip Technologies – a company that focuses on producing high-performance chips that are essential in both cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence sectors – made its third return to the annual list. The company has seen five consecutive years of revenue growth, benefiting from increased demand as advanced chips find their way into new products and applications including AI. Last year, the company's sales rose 24 per cent from the preceding year to US$460 million.

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