Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial group, said yesterday that it will give its employees bonuses equal to 4.38 to 4.5 times their monthly salaries this year, as the group’s four major companies reported profit growth of 39.3 to 886.9 percent last year.
“Based on our bonus calculation method, the pretax profit of NT$108.7 billion [US$3.61 billion], or NT$3.66 per share, posted by our four major units can be translated into bonuses equal to 4.24 times employees’ monthly salaries,” FPG general administration director Ho Shui-wen (侯水文) told reporters after negotiations between the company’s union and management yesterday.
“Chairman William Wong (王文淵) is to decide on Monday how much he will add to that amount,” Ho added.
According to the company’s union, the chairman is likely to give an additional bonus of NT$5,000 to NT$10,000 to each employee, making total bonuses equal to 4.38 to 4.5 times their monthly salaries.
However, Ho said the group is not likely to increase employees’ salaries by more than 3 percent as last year’s inflation rate was just 0.79 percent, the lowest since 2009, and the group’s salary level is not lower than that of their peers.
For the whole of last year, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), a main unit of the group, posted 886.9 percent profit growth to total NT$26.8 billion, or NT$2.81 per share, compared with NT$2.72 billion, or NT$0.29 per share, a year ago, the company said.
Formosa Petrochemical’s full-year profit of NT$26.8 million for last year is also the highest among the group’s four main units, thanks to a higher margin and lower cost.
Company vice president Lin Keh-yen (林克彥) said oil-producing countries agreed to cut average prices for crude oil by US$0.19 per barrel last year from a year ago, increasing the company’s gross margin.
Lin said the company’s utilization rate last year was also higher than the previous year, lowering its average costs.
The company posted revenue of NT$931.33 billion last year, up 4.1 percent from NT$894.38 billion in 2012, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Lin said oil production last year was 457,000 barrels per day, up 22,000 barrels per day from 2012, while production of its petrochemical products increased by 723,000 tonnes last year from a year earlier, as the utilization rate of its petrochemical factories rose to 92 percent last year from 81 percent in 2012.
For this quarter, the company said its revenue was likely to see a quarter-on-quarter increase as diesel and aviation fuel prices are on the rise.
Winter is the peak season for oil consumption, and the improving global economy also boosts demand for aviation fuel, the company said.
Formosa Petrochemical also plans to start making rubber products this year, president Tsao Mihn (曹明) said.
“We try to diversify our products into those with higher profit margin,” he added.
The other three main FPG units also saw profit increase for last year, with Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) reporting a 491.7 percent annual increase in profit to NT$25.26 billion, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化學纖維) posting a 239.7-percent jump in profit to NT$24.85 billion and a 39.3 percent rise for Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) to NT$20.64 billion.