Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Lion Travel poised to list on Taiwan Stock Exchange

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

After seeing its net income for the first half of the year exceed the amount recorded for the whole of last year, travel agency Lion Travel Service Co Ltd (雄獅旅行社) is to list on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Sept. 24.

The listing will make Lion Travel the second Taiwanese travel agency listed on the main bourse, following Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰國際旅行社).

The company is set to issue 8.95 million shares for its primary listing. However, Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券) — Lion Travel’s underwriter — has not yet set the stock’s offering price.

Yesterday, Lion Travel shares closed at NT$104 on the smaller Emerging Stock Market, up 1.96 percent from Monday.

“The tourism sector has become one of Taiwan’s mainstream industries,” Lion Travel chairman Jason Wang (王文傑) told a media briefing held prior to the investors’ conference.

The firm posted NT$162.06 million (US$5.42 million), or NT$2.65 per share, in net profit in the first six months, nearly tripling its net income of NT$56.44 million, or NT$1.04 per share, in the same period last year, Lion Travel’s statement showed.

First-half earnings this year were also higher than the NT$136.45 million, or NT$2.35 per share, that the travel agency made in the whole of last year, company data showed.

Wang attributed the strong performance to the positive effects of the yen’s depreciation during the period, which encouraged more Taiwanese to visit Japan.

He remained upbeat about the company’s second half outlook, citing strong seasonal demand during the summer vacation period.

“Traveling is a necessity ... I see no reason to be pessimistic about the [tourism] industry in the second half,” Wang said.

Lion Travel is eyeing markets in China and Southeast Asia.

The firm launched a subsidiary in Shanghai two years ago which is expected to help it seize the initiative when China further relaxes regulations and allows Taiwanese travel agencies to do more businesses there, Wang said.

The agency is also planning to raise its scale through mergers and acquisitions, saying that scale may be an inevitable trend as the industry continues to develop, he said.

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