Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化學纖維) yesterday reported the highest earnings per share (EPS) among Formosa Plastics Group’s (FPG, 台塑集團) four largest firms in the first nine months of the year.
The company posted NT$38.61 billion (US$1.26 billion), or NT$6.80 per share, in pretax profit in the first three quarters of the year, up 7.2 percent from a year ago, it said in a statement.
Formosa Chemicals produces aromatics and styrenics used in the production of nylon, houseware, construction materials, food packaging and electronic parts.
The other three main FPG units are Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化).
The pretax profit of Formosa Plastics expanded 5.8 percent year-on-year to NT$39.41 billion, or NT$6.44 per share, in the first nine months of the year, the company said in a separate statement yesterday.
Formosa Petrochemical and Nan Ya Plastics, meanwhile, both reported declines in pretax profit because of the shutdown of the group’s plants at the group's Mailiao (麥寮) petrochemical complex in Yunlin County.
Nan Ya’s pretax profit fell 19 percent from a year earlier to NT$29.59 billion, or NT$3.77 per share, while Formosa Petrochemical’s shrank 8.7 percent to NT$29.1 billion, or NT$3.05 per share, companies’ data showed.
In the first nine months, the combined pretax profit posted by the four companies totaled NT$136.7 billion, down 3.5 percent year-on-year, data showed.
In the third quarter alone, the four major FPG units all posted declines in pretax profit, compared with the second quarter.
In particular, Formosa Petrochemical swung to a pretax loss of NT$1.42 billion, or NT$0.15 per share, in the third quarter from NT$10.41 billion, or NT$1.09 per share, in pretax profit in the second quarter.
Company spokesman Lin Keh-yen (林克彥) said the suspension of operations for safety inspections at the Mailiao complex had led to a fall in production, which affected the company's oil product exports during the three month period.
Formosa Plastics, the flagship company of the group, posted NT$9.91 billion in pretax profit for the third quarter, down 21.5 percent from the previous quarter.
The company said global demand for petrochemical products, such as ethylene and propane, has weakened since China stepped up measures to tighten its liquidity and because of debt default fears in Europe.
Nan Ya Plastics posted NT$6.44 billion in pretax profit in the third quarter, down 16 percent from the second quarter, while Formosa Chemicals recorded NT$7.56 billion in pretax profit in the July-to-September period, down 29.6 percent from the previous quarter.
The four companies yesterday also released sales data for last month. Formosa Petrochemical’s revenue last month increased 43.4 percent from a month earlier to NT$47.73 billion, amid a gradual resumption of operations at its refinery, although the figure was still 1.5 percent lower year-on-year.
Nan Ya posted NT$14.26 billion in revenue last month, down 8.6 percent from July, or 16.9 percent from a year ago, as the debt crisis in Europe and a slowing US economy affected demand for its products, the company said.
Formosa Plastics also saw a drop in revenue as a number of its plants underwent annual maintenance. Sales dipped 17.5 percent from July or 16 percent from a year earlier to NT$13.05 billion last month.
Formosa Chemicals’ revenue edged up 0.18 percent from July or 1.4 percent from a year ago to NT$21.82 billion last month.
Additional reporting by CNA
This story has been updated since it was first published.
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