Thu, Dec 27, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Hotai expecting record earnings

THREE IN A ROW:The nation’s largest car dealer said it was having a good year and although next year’s market could be slow, it was ‘impossible’ for it to be any worse

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Executives from Hotai Motor Corp introduce the new Toyota “Wish” model at a press conference yesterday. The car dealer is expecting a rise in sales this year for the third year in a row despite a challenging market.

Photo: Yang Ya-min, Taipei Times

Hotai Motor Corp (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota cars in Taiwan, said that from January to last month the company had earned more than the total for the whole of last year, and was poised to report record earnings this year for a third consecutive year.

In the first 11 months of the year, the company, which also sells Lexus luxury cars and Hino commercial vehicles, reported a pre-tax profit of NT$7.68 billion (US$264.7 million), or earnings per share of NT$14.06, Hotai chairman Justin Su (蘇純興) said yesterday at a press conference.

From January to last month, the company’s revenue totaled NT$84.85 billion, up 6.88 percent year-on-year.

Last year, the company reported a net profit of NT$6.59 billion (NT$12.06 per share), up 35.66 percent from NT$4.85 billion (NT$8.89 per share) in 2010, the company’s data showed.

“Normally we offer our employees an annual bonus equal to three month’s salary, and we adjust the amount based on our profit,” Su said.

Shares in Hotai closed up 0.9 percent yesterday at NT$223 in Taipei trading, rising 53.26 percent so far this year, date from the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.

With the year end approaching, Hotai said it could sell 12,200 cars this month, boosting its annual sales to about 122,700, up 3 percent from last year.

That will enable the company to corner a 33.8 percent market share and maintain its title as the nation’s biggest car vendor, Su said yesterday on the sidelinse of a product launch ceremony.

Hotai has relied on its Lexus models to boost sales so far this year, compared to declines for local peers such as Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) and China Motor Corp (中華汽車) amid a slowing economy. The government’s statistics agency forecast a 1.13 GDP growth for this year, following a 4.04 percent growth last year.

For next month, Su said he expected total sales to be 40,000 cars with Hotai accounting for about one-third of the market, after the company yesterday introduced a revamped Wish minivan model.

The New Wish, which features 18.9 percent lower oil consumption than previous models and has sports styling, is priced between NT$769,000 and NT$879,000.

The company has set a monthly sales target for this model of 1,500 units and an annual target of 18,000 units, Su said.

Su did not elaborate on the company’s projected sales for next year or its market share target.

He said it is impossible for next year to be worse than this year, but said it is also unlikely that the market sentiment will rise significantly next year.

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