China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) said yesterday that its net profit last year surged 171 percent from the year before, which allows the company to propose a better dividend payout compared with the year before.
The nation’s largest steelmaker said in a statement that its board had approved a plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$1.2 per preferred share and a stock dividend of 2 percent based on last year’s earnings.
The company proposed paying NT$0.7 in cash and 2 percent in stock for its common shareholders.
In the previous year, China Steel paid both preferred and common shareholders a stock dividend of 1 percent, and cash dividends of NT$1.3 and NT$0.4 respectively.
The Greater Kaohsiung-based company reported a decline in revenue to NT$347.83 billion last year, compared with NT$358.34 billion in 2012.
However, its net income last year rose to NT$15.98 billion (US$521.4 million), or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$1.05, from NT$5.89 billion, or NT$0.39 per share, the previous year.
With the company’s stock price closing at NT$25.15 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the proposed cash dividend of NT$0.7 for holders of common shares translates into a dividend yield of 2.78 percent, still higher than the interest rates of between 1.31 percent and 1.46 percent on one-year to three-year fixed savings offered by local banks.
China Steel’s board also approved plans to issue 309.28 million new common shares to help increase its working capital; invest NT$2.66 billion to reduce the levels of ammonia nitrogen in its exhaust emissions over the next four years; and set up a steel-cutting and logistics distribution center in China’s Kunshan City in Jiangsu Province, which would require an investment of US$12.85 million.
The proposed dividend payout and other business plans outlined in yesterday’s board meeting still have to be approved by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on June 18.