Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Long Look At DIS Technologies

Posted yesterday afternoon: DIS Technologies: Yet Another Fraud Case In Bursa

I decided to check some old articles on this company. Why? Even I have absolutely no recollection on what this company is all about.


  • Monday December 13, 2004
    DIS modem makes good connection

    PENANG-BASED DIS Technology Holdings Bhd was founded by a diehard Star Trek enthusiast who loved to fiddle with electronic gadgets and play computer games.

    Founder and managing director Dustin Cheah's innovative and unconventional ideas made DIS a pretty well known company in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

    In a span of eight years, DIS has evolved from a distributor of computer hardware and peripherals to a company which designs and develops its Blue Thunder range of consumer electronic devices, the most popular being the Blue Thunder modems.

    For the first six months of 2004, DIS recorded a pre-tax profit of RM2.2mil on the back of RM22mil revenue.

    Not bad for a company that started with a capital of only RM20,000 and six employees. So what was Cheah's formula for success?

    Cheah felt that to survive, the company needed to be different, grow its business and have a competitive edge over the big boys in the ICT industry.

    “We started to think about building a brand for our products. We imported some products from Taiwan, value-added and repackaged them and sold them under a few brands.

    “Blue Thunder was chosen as it was the favourite among customers due to its quality as well as futuristic and innovative design,” he told StarBiz.

    Cheah has four golden rules, as he calls it, when designing a product – it has to be innovative, user-friendly, of superb quality and has good customer support.

    DIS came up with its first modem in 1999. “It was a 33.6 kilobits per second (Kbps) modem. Many people asked me why design a modem and not some other products. We felt the Internet was fast becoming a must for everyone and a modem would definitely be needed,” Cheah said.

    The 33.6 Kbps modem was a success but the turning point for DIS was when it developed the 56 Kbps modem, which is now being used by big factories and the Government.

    Having gained a foothold in the local market, Cheah then decided to try penetrating the international market.

    “It was one of our strategies to grow bigger. We knew it was not going to be easy, as many companies in other countries, especially the more developed ones, did not even know where Malaysia was,” he said.

    However, DIS managed to sell its modems in the Philippines, India, Canada and the United States.
    It also developed its own PC camera and dual-mode digital camera, widening its product range.

    “We then went into the European market and found that our cameras were very saleable in France. The global market is still relatively untapped and by venturing overseas, we can expand tremendously,” Cheah said.

    In the past five years,
    DIS has established strong presence in the Asia-Pacific and Europe as well as countries like the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Despite having a lean company that outsourced the making of its products to contract manufacturers locally and in countries like Taiwan and China, Cheah found that DIS had difficulty growing its business due to lack of funds. “There was a need to raise funds so we decided two years ago to submit an application to list on the Mesdaq market,” he said.

    DIS will raise RM15.02mil from its flotation on Thursday, of which RM5mil will be used to repay bank borrowings, RM1.9mil for capital expenditure, RM2.96mil for research and development (R&D), RM3.46mil for working capital and RM1.7mil for listing expenses.

    It is offering 42.93 million 10 sen shares at 35 sen each, of which five million shares will be made available for application by the public, four million for the company’s eligible directors and employees and the balance 33.93 million shares for placement to selected investors.

    Cheah said DIS planned to expand into Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Indonesia as well as put in a lot of effort into the British market next year.

    “Currently, about 60% of our revenue comes from overseas and 40% from the domestic market. Overseas orders are bigger and we expect export business to contribute 70% of revenue in the next three years,” he said. However, Cheah stressed that the company would continue to focus on the local market.

    He said DIS would establish kiosks and shops in major retail centres nationwide to complement its distribution channel. The kiosks and shops will help improve the group’s sales, marketing network and market share besides enhancing public awareness of Blue Thunder.

    Initially, the company plans to test the concept on a small scale by setting up sales and service counters in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

    DIS will also expand its range of products and is seriously looking into digital audio technology as a new area of growth in 2005.

    Other new products include digital photographic equipment, PC multimedia add-on peripherals as well as home security and smart-home equipment.

    Cheah, who heads the company's research and development, places a lot of importance on R&D. “All our designing is done in-house. Out of the 30-odd staff we have now, about 10 are in the R&D department,” he said.

    According to its prospectus, DIS invested about RM5.9mil in R&D since 2001 and expects to spend over RM16mil in the next five years.

Another article in 2004.

  • Monday December 13, 2004
    Gutsy Cheah relishes challenges

    NOTHING seems to get DIS Technology Holdings Bhd managing director Dustin Cheah down.

    Being stricken with polio at the age of three did not cause Cheah to wallow in self-pity; instead it taught him determination. He never gives up and always strives to be better at what he does.

    “It never struck me to think that God was unfair. I thought if my legs were weak, He will let me do other things better. And He did,” he said.

    His creativity enabled him to build six types of modems within a year. DIS also became the first Malaysian company to build a modem that looks like a “starship”.

    Cheah now walks with a limp – a battle scar from his bout with polio.

    “Actually, I see it as an advantage. Being thought of as disabled, I can skip standing in line and there is always easy access to parking, especially when I am overseas,” he said cheerfully.

    The 47-year-old Cheah had an illustrious career, gaining a lot of experience in diverse industries after his Form 5 education at Chung Ling High School in Penang.

    His work experience included being involved in the Japanese chopstick and woodworking machinery industries, brick manufacture as well as the hospitality industry.

    However, Cheah did not forget his aim to be in the computer business and he started his own courier company in 1989 with this in mind.

    “The company delivered computers to distributors. It enabled us to get a feel of the market,” he said.

    Digital Integrated System Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of DIS, was established in 1996.

    Cheah, who is a “Trekkie” (ardent fan of Star Trek) and whose staff call him Captain Picard (captain of the starship Enterprise in the TV science-fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation), believes in taking responsibility as a leader of an organisation.

    “As a leader, it is my duty to come up with new technologies, strategies and products for the company.

    “However, it is also important to provide guidance to my staff and be mindful of what is happening to each individual.

    “Do things right the first time so the results will provide you with a peace of mind,” he said.

    Cheah is described by a close friend as a dreamer who makes dream come true.

    “He is a very easy-going guy. When faced with any challenge or obstacle in life, he overcomes it with ease and without any grudges,” the friend said.

    Born in Perlis, Cheah is the eldest of five children and currently lives in Penang.

    Besides his love of computer, Cheah's other passion is in exotic animals. He has in his “zoo” a serval cat, giant tortoises and exotic fish.

DIS performance on listing day.

  • Friday December 17, 2004
    DIS Technology makes Mesdaq debut with 5 sen premium


    COMPUTER peripherals and digital equipment developer DIS Technology Holdings Bhd made its debut on the Mesdaq market yesterday at a 5
    sen premium over its offer price of 35 sen.

    The stock, however, ended at 36.5 sen, near its day's low of
    36 sen, with a total of 19.18 million shares changing hands.

    At a press conference after the company's listing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, managing director Dustin Cheah Yew Keat attributed the counter's strong opening price to investor confidence in DIS Technology's future growth prospects.

    DIS Technology made a pre-tax profit of RM3.06mil on revenue of RM32.5mil for the nine months ended Sept 30, which showed improved profitability compared with the whole of last year.

    The group had registered a pre-tax profit of RM2.7mil on turnover of RM41mil for the year ended Dec 31, 2003.

    “Part of the proceeds from our initial public offering (IPO) has been allocated for the development of new digital devices aimed at the US and European markets,'' Cheah said.

    However, due to the slight delay in its listing exercise, he said the company was likely to miss its revenue target for the year.

    “We expect the group's full-year results to be slightly below our earlier forecast due to the IPO delay,'' he said.

    While the company did not give financial estimates in its prospectus, Cheah was quoted in September as saying that the company had hoped to achieve a pre-tax profit of RM4.9mil on revenue of RM49mil for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2004.

    Exports account for about 60% of the company's annual turnover.

    Cheah said computer modems, digital cameras, MP3 players, storage devices and wireless products marketed under the Blue Thunder brand accounted for more than 90% of the company's total sales.

    The recently completed IPO raised RM15mil in gross proceeds. Of the amount, RM5mil has been earmarked for repayment of debts, while RM8.5mil is for research and development, capital expenditure and working capital. .
A year later 2005.

  • DIS Tech sees rise in revenue

    May 25 2005

    PENANG-based DIS Technology Holdings Bhd sees revenue rising to RM50 million this year from RM42 million in 2004, supported by expansion of its range of products and services.

    Chairman Radziwill Mohamed said the group aims to increase its export sales by 5 per cent this year. Exports account for 65 per cent of the company’s total sales.

    DIS Technology’s main export markets include the Asia Pacific region, the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

    “Although Europe is our most promising export market, we want to penetrate the Eastern European countries, Indonesia and Vietnam because of the huge market potential and increasing consumer demand,” Radziwill told Business Times.

    Net profit is also expected to reach up to RM4.5 million by next year, compared to RM2.9 million recorded in the year ended June 30 2004.

    DIS Technology’s range of products include internal and external modems, dual mode digital cameras, mini webcams, removable hard disc drives, MP3 players and digital radios. Yesterday saw the launch of its e-commerce website, and a digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radio by Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

    “After launching into the global market particularly North America and Europe in 2000, we feel that this is the right time for Malaysians to adopt e-commerce into their lifestyles as they are ready and familiar with this kind of technology,” Radziwill said., managed by subsidiary Modern Solution Sdn Bhd and with Maybank as it’s e-payment solutions provider, will be the official online store for the group’s range of digital, electronic and consumer products under the brand name “Blue Thunder”.

    Meanwhile, Bernama reports that
    Mercantile & Gentry Sdn Bhd expects to ship 15,000-20,000 units of the DAB radios to the UK this year.

    “Our potential sales between now and 2008 in the UK market alone are 300,000-400,000 units,” said its managing director, Simon Marshall, at a press conference after the launch in Kuala Lumpur.

    He added that the radios will be retailed at £250 (£1 = RM7.02) each in the UK.

    At the moment Mercantile & Gentry is the only company in Malaysia and the Association of South-East Asian Nations to design and manufacture DAB receivers. DIS is responsible for designing the software and hardware, Marshall said.

Lots of promise.

This was the earnings report made on Aug 2005. Quarterly rpt on consolidated results for the financial period ended 31/12/2005 - Net profit of only 274k only!

November 2005.

  • DIS Tech to increase budget for R&D in 2006
    November 21 2005

    DIS Technology Holdings Bhd is doubling its research and development (R&D) budget to RM16 million next year as it moves to being a designer and manufacturer of high-end technology products from a computer peripherals maker.

    The Penang-based company, whose Blue Thunder products — ranging from modems, digital cameras, MP3 players to computer add-on peripherals — are being exported to Europe and the US among others, is set to showcase some 12 new products at the “CeBIT Hanover 2006” trade show in Germany next March.

    “We need to keep investing in R&D if we are to be on the cutting-edge of coming up with innovative products for the export market,” DIS managing director Dustin Cheah told the Business Times in Penang.

    Among the new products to be showcased during CeBIT include its latest product, its smart portable multi-charger or “Charger Mate”.

    CeBIT is the world’s largest annual trade show for information and communications technology, where over 6,000 exhibitors are expected to showcase their products to about half a million visitors from within and outside Germany.

    The Charger Mate, which DIS began shipping to Europe two months ago, was now eyed in the US and India from companies interested to market it.

    The indigenous product, which is being touted by DIS as the first in the world, is a new-generation battery charger which not only charges but also powers up most electronic devices with compatible voltage.

    DIS expects to ship 500,000 units of the item overseas as well as to the local market.

    “Also on the cards is the launch of some new lifestyle products for the Malaysian market soon,” said Cheah.

    Meanwhile, Cheah said the company was expected to move in to its new RM7 million design centre at Penang’s Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone by the second quarter of 2006.

Feb 2006: Quarterly rpt on consolidated results for the financial period ended 31/12/2005 - FY 2005 net profit only 1.299 million. Previous year was 2.985 million.

Sep 2006.

  • Tuesday September 26, 2006

    DIS Tech banks on DAB radios


    PENANG: DIS Technology Holdings Bhd, a Mesdaq-listed company specialising in manufacturing digital audio devices,
    expects its digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radios to spearhead future earnings.

    It has spent about RM9mil in research and development to produce DAB radios since being listed in 2004.

    Managing director Dustin Cheah told StarBiz the group had developed the DAB prototypes and recently started commercial production.

    “Most of the orders for the DAB radios come from Britain and European countries such as Germany and Sweden.

    “The market for DAB radios in Britain is large. In 2005, households there spent about RM1bil on DAB radios, and the market is expected to grow by at least 10% this year,” he said.

    Cheah said DIS Technology aimed to clinch at least 5% share of the DAB radio market in Britain in the near future.

    “Our DAB radios are marketed overseas under our brand name Blue Thunder,” he said, adding that the group would spend another RM7mil to improve the radio’s features.

    DAB is a new way of broadcasting radio via a network of terrestrial transmitters. A DAB radio provides improved sound compared with current analogue radios and is capable of carrying data information such as text, pictures and video.

    “DAB radios are very fashionable these days . Today there are at least 29 countries using digital audio infrastructure to broadcast radio signals.

    “In Malaysia, we are the only company with the technical know-how to produce DAB radios.

    “Our DAB radios were earlier this year exhibited in Hanover at CeBit, the world’s largest fair showcasing IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments,” Cheah added.

    On other consumer electronic products, Cheah said DIS Technology was now working on new models of MP-4, smart battery chargers for telecommunication and digital camera products, and mini-disk drives.

    “The group had earlier this year moved into a new RM6 mil plant in Bayan Lepas. All our products are designed and developed at the plant,” he said.

    For the first half year ended June 30, DIS Technology generated RM1.2mil in net profit on RM40mil turnover compared with RM500,000 net profit and RM21mil turnover in the previous corresponding period.

And many thanks to the wonder of the web, here's an image of a Blue Thunder DAB.

Dec 2006.
  • Saturday December 9, 2006

    Widen the net


    THE past month has been a busy one for DIS Technology Holdings Bhd. Fresh from acquiring computer vendor and distributor Zeon Computer (M) Sdn Bhd, the company has entered into a collaboration that will enable it to expand into the electronic learning segment.

    The collaboration with nMc Investments Ltd kicked off with a smart and mobile learning partnership with University Malaya which by early next year should see the university's campus WiFi-enabled. This will facilitate multi-party video conferencing and real-time web classrooms with Voice-over-Internet Protocol and face-to-face communications.

    The idea is to expand the project to encompass other public and private universities in Malaysia.

    DIS Technology's role in the initiative is to provide the hardware but even then, its managing director Dustin Cheah says the project is considered a bonus for the company, whose real focus is to design, manufacture and distribute digital audio broadcasting (DAB) and digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) devices.

    DIS Technology is the only local company with the know-how to manufacture DAB radios, says Dustin Cheah.
    “DIS Technology has opened up the DAB market. Although digital broadcasting is still a fairly new technology, we see a lot of room for growth,” he says in an interview.

    In time, more markets are expected to change from AM and FM or the current analogue format to DAB format. When that happens, consumers will have to replace their FM radios with DAB radios.

    Cheah says the market for DAB radios is expected to grow about 10% annually.

    According to him, DIS Technology is, at this point in time, the only local company with the know-how to manufacture DAB radios.

    As such, it stands to reason that the company will have the first-mover advantage when the technology increasingly gains popularity.

    Encouraging prospects

    DAB is a technology for broadcasting audio programming in digital form that was designed in the late 1980s but which is now being introduced in many countries. The objectives of converting to digital systems are to enable higher reliability, less interference, mobile services and additional information such as text and videos. DMB is considered to be the next step forward.

    According to the World DMB Forum, China has chosen to adopt DAB as the digital audio standard in the country. It was officially launched in September 2006.

    A year ago, South Korea became the first country in the world to have a commercial launch of mobile TV. In less than six months, over one million DAB/DMB devices were sold.

    Cheah explains that there are many audio technologies out there, but many of them are nowhere near the mature stage.

    DAB, on the other hand, has been tried and tested in several key markets around the world and has proven to be well accepted in many of those markets.

    For instance, he says that in Britain, there are more than 400 DAB radio channels. Sweden and the Netherlands are also considered mature DAB markets as more and more consumers are switching from analogue to the DAB radio format.

    Closer to home, Cheah points out that China has stated that the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be a DMB-enabled event.

    “Imagine how many FM radios in the world will eventually be replaced by DAB radios,” he comments.

    As it is, DIS Technology has penetrated the European market with its brand of DAB radios. The radios are marketed under the brand name Blue Thunder.

    Cheah says DIS Technology is working towards controlling 5% of the total DAB market in three years' time.

    Under the Blue Thunder brand, DIS Technology also produces and markets other products like modems, USB flash drives, routers, multimedia players, multi-chargers, PC cameras and Bluetooth headsets.

    The company markets its Blue Thunder products through its online portal Dolar Maker. Zeon Computer, the latest of DIS Technology's three subsidiaries function as a distributor and reseller of Blue Thunder products as well as a service centre for the products.

    At present, about 60% of the company's products are bound for export markets while the balance is sold locally.

    Over the past decade, the company has evolved from a trading company specialising in add-on computer peripherals into a design house and manufacturer of DAB devices among other things.

    “It is quite an achievement for us that we are the only company here that has managed to convert the digital radio signal to MP3 format,” Cheah says.

    Still, it looks like it could take a while before the market comes to appreciate the strides the company has made in the digital broadcasting world.

    Since DIS Technology's listing in December 2004, its shares have traded at an average of 22 sen, which is lower than their initial public offering (IPO) price of 35 sen.

    Recent months however have seen the shares inch closer to their IPO price.

    It helps that the company posted an encouraging set of numbers for the third quarter ended September 2006.

    DIS Technology registered a net profit of RM1.9mil for the first nine months to end September, compared with RM947,000 in the last corresponding period.

    This was achieved on higher revenue of RM62mil, compared with RM37mil previously. The company's earnings per share increased to 1.3 sen from 0.66 sen previously.

    Cheah believes that if the company continues to focus its research and development efforts on producing consumer electronic products that will cement DIS Technology's niche in the information communication technology market, everything will fall into place, including a rise in the company's share price.

Aug 2007.

  • DISTech plans Internet-based radio
    By Marina Emmanuel

    August 25 2007

    DIS Technology Holdings Bhd (DISTech) is developing a technology for an Internet-based radio with a European partner.

    The Penang-based company, which is synonymous with its "Blue Thunder" range of portable chargers, MP3 players, digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radios and computer add-on peripherals in Europe and the US, also has on its drawing board plans for a mobile television.

    "The Internet radio is being developed for global markets and we hope to come out with a prototype for the mobile TV by next year," the company's managing director Dustin Cheah told Business Times.

    The Internet radio enables listening to audio broadcasts via the Internet.

    There are more than 4,000 broadcasts available on the Net that can be streamed and played by a media player into the computer or in a stand-alone Internet radio with the software built in.

    Cheah said with the setting up of DISTech's wholly-owned subsidiary, DIS Technology (Hong Kong) Ltd, this month, the company is now exposed to global retail and other distribution giants which use Hong Kong as their global marketing and procurement hubs.

    "We want to capture the market for DAB radios from Hong Kong," he added, "as we expect to add on substantial customers through our marketing office and showroom there".

    DISTech currently produces more than 10,000 units of DAB radios monthly, which are shipped to markets like the United Kingdom, Denmark and Switzerland.

    "Since Australia hopes to become DAB-enabled by next year, we have sent our radios to several Australian broadcasting stations to test.

    "We are also in talks with France and Italy and are looking to collaborate with parties in the Middle East, within three years, to set up a DAB-enabled digital city," Cheah said.

Feb 2008: Quarterly rpt on consolidated results for the financial period ended 31/12/2007 - DIS made a net profit of 1.8 million from a sales revenue of 140 million for its fy 2007.

June 2008.

  • Thursday June 19, 2008
    DIS Tech to unveil new watch-phones

    GEORGE TOWN: DIS Technology Holdings Bhd will introduce the second generation of watch-phones under its own brand name, Blue Thunder, next month.

    Managing director Dustin Cheah said the product would be targeted at the markets in Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines, where the first generation of watch-phones had sold very well.

    The watch-phone can function as a watch, phone, GPRS device, MP4 player and video camera.

    “The second generation (product) has better designs and more applications,” Cheah said after the company AGM yesterday.

    The watch-phone was the result of a collaborative effort between DIS Technology and South Korea-based Sodiff E & T Co Ltd, he said.

    The group had also launched its ultra mobile personal computers under the Blue Thunder brand name, he said, adding: “The product is the result of our collaboration with a Taiwanese company.”

    DIS Technology also supplies value-added LCD panels to Zhejiang Xing Xing Electronics Technology and Development Co Ltd, one of China’s top manufacturers of consumer electronics products

    “The fact that DIS Technology is able to collaborate with overseas consumer electronic manufacturers to produce innovative gadgets is testimony of its research and development capabilities.

    “It also shows that we have extensive marketing networks in Asia,” Cheah said.

Watch phones? oO

You can see the watch phone and its manual:

Feb 2009: Quarterly rpt on consolidated results for the financial period ended 31/12/2008 - DIS lost some 3.253 million for the quarter. FY 2008 losses was some 853 thousand.

March 2010: DIS Technologies: Yet Another Fraud Case In Bursa

On today's Edge Financial: DIS Tech to face cash flow crisis if fraud proven

  • KUALA LUMPUR: DIS Technology Holdings Bhd (DIST) will face “difficulties in meeting payments to its creditors and borrowers” if its suspicion of a massive RM131 million fraud case impacting the company is proven true.

    In a statement yesterday, DIST said it would result in “no cash flow from this major transaction,” which “would have a major impact on the daily operations of the company”.

    “Due to the loss of cash flow, the company would have difficulties in meeting payments to its creditors and borrowers,” it said.

    DIST announced on Monday that it had uncovered a possible misstatement of sales to the tune of RM131.33 million spread over two financial years 2008 (FY08) and 2009 (FY09) due to fraudulent activities. DIST said the alleged fraud was reported by a major customer, Starlight Marketing Ltd, involving one of the latter’s staff. It said the sales totalled RM131.33 million over six quarters starting July 1, 2008 and the total owing as at Dec 31, 2009 to the group was RM82.07 million.

    Pursuant to a query for additional information by Bursa Malaysia Securities, DIST said yesterday it had immediately frozen all transactions with Starlight and had engaged a law firm, Khor, Ong & Company, to obtain legal advice and opinion in this matter.

    It said the lawyer was currently in Hong Kong to carry out further investigations on the case and to seek the assistance of the Hong Kong police. DIST said it was also looking into nominating a firm of accountants for an investigative audit.

    DIST, which is in the business of manufacturing and selling consumer electronics, has been incurring losses for the past two years.

    For FY09, despite revenue increasing to RM181.5 million from RM139.3 million in FY08, the group remained in the red to the tune of RM578,000, though it was an improvement from a loss of RM815,000 in FY08.

    According to the notes accompanying its fourth-quarter announcement, DIST said the losses were due to provision for impairment of goodwill, allowance for doubtful debts and inventories written off. The stock was traded at 4.5 sen prior to its suspension on Monday.

    This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, March 10, 2010.


solomon said...

An enterpreuner from wood to IT??

I think the the audit firm owe the shareholder a good explanation and the banker have to tell why they are lending to them?

Another bad receivables story or pure fraud? Grapevine suggest negligence, you buy this Moolah?

Moolah said...



Today's announcement from DIS:$File/possible%20impacted%20figure.xls

Effects of the possible impacted figures

1. Consolidated net profit/(loss) RM'000: -82,621

A loss of 82 million??

which will put DIS's shareholders funds to -55 million!!

Kris said...

So many products, yet i never seen any of them but the watch-phone looks cool technologically though. Maybe i a not that techie enough :P

Unknown said...

I hope that no one on this blog has lost any money with this disgraceful company - I am from the UK and did "business" with them for three years and know a bit about the story.

If anyone is interested to know what REALLY went on with Dustin Cheah, his 'technical group', Ian Lim and (Chairman) Radzewil and the way PBB off-loaded it on to the Malaysian public then - please contact me directly: