Fri, Jan 13, 2006 - Page 10 News List

CPC stops pump giveaways to save cash

STAFF WRITER

Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) (CPC), the nation's largest oil refiner, yesterday stopped offering customers giveaways at its pumping stations, both directly-owned and franchised, in a bid to help reduce costs. Instead, the company will provide a "bonus point" collection program to its members.

According to company statistics, the company saved as much as NT$450 million (US$14.12 million) in giveaway-related costs between September and the end of last year, after the company raised the threshold for giveaways at its directly-owned stations in central and southern Taiwan.

The giveaway-related costs refer to expenses involving procurement, distribution and auditing of the various giveaway items, such as tissues, laundry powder, soap and detergent, water and air fresheners.

As the measure has proved effective, CPC has decided to cancel all giveaways, as it is concerned rising oil prices will eat into profits.

The company undertook the new measures after the Cabinet said in September that the state-controlled refiner would not raise its wholesale gasoline prices through the end of the year to help the government hold down inflationary pressure. On Dec. 31, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said the government will not let CPC adjust its gas prices before the Lunar New Year. The company warned on Wednesday that it may report a loss of NT$5 billion this month if wholesale gasoline prices remain unchanged.

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