Thu, Apr 09, 2015 - Page 13 News List

PChome upbeat as it cleans up with non-IT items — such as toilet paper

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Online shopping portal PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) yesterday said it is optimistic that its annual sales for this year will grow in tandem with rising demand for non-information technology (IT) products.

PChome expects the sales contribution from the non-IT items to grow from 33 percent of its NT$19.88 billion (US$636.65 million) revenue last year to 40 percent this year, Vicky Tseng (曾薰儀), director of the company’s marketing and investor relations department, told an investors’ conference.

“The best-selling non-IT item last year was toilet paper. Demand is so strong that the revenue potential of the low-priced non-IT products cannot be underestimated,” Tseng said.

In light of the new dynamic, PChome plans to rent a 10,000 ping (33,000m2) warehouse next year and a 20,000 ping warehouse in 2017 to meet the surging demand for non-IT products.

IT products, which contributed 67 percent of total revenue last year, include items in the computer, communications and consumer electronics segments.

Despite the potential weak demand for PC-related products this year, PChome’s IT product sales will gain support from rising demand for home appliances, Tseng said.

PChome’s annual net profit jumped 39.16 percent to NT$761.94 million last year from NT$547.51 million the previous year. Earnings per share were NT$7.8 last year, according to a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

PChome said it has high hopes for its Thai subsidiary, which is set to become operational in the second half of this year, as e-commerce business accounts for less than 1 percent of the kingdom’s total retail revenue.

PChome partnered with Cal-Comm Electronics and Communication Co (泰金寶) at the end of last year to establish PChome Thailand in a bid to enter the kingdom’s e-commerce market.

The paid-in capital of PChome Thailand is 100 million baht (US$3.07 million), PChome said.

“We believe that e-commerce development in Thailand has great potential,” Tseng said.

In addition, PChome plans to establish Pi Mobile Technology, a new subsidiary that would focus on promoting mobile payment services, in the second half of this year.

“It might take time for Pi Mobile Technology to be profitable, but we believe mobile payments will have a very important role in e-commerce development,” Tseng said.

Commenting on the third-party payment business, Tseng said the company plans to raise NT$50 million this quarter for PChome Pay (支付連) in order to meet the government’s capital requirement of NT$500 million for third-party payment service providers.

PChome shares declined 2.56 percent to close at NT$381 in Taipei trading yesterday, ahead of the firm’s investors’ conference, underperforming the TAIEX, which lost just 0.73 percent.

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