Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial conglomerate, yesterday said net profits of its four main companies grew 46.8 percent last year from the previous year, on the back of robust demand for petrochemical products.
The group’s four major units — Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC, 台塑石化), Formosa Plastics Corp (台灣塑膠), Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp (台灣化學纖維) and Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) — last year saw their combined net income reach NT$207.7 billion (US$6.5 billion), with total sales dropping 8.9 percent to NT$1.32 trillion from the previous year.
FPCC, the nation’s only listed oil refiner, posted the highest earnings growth among the four major units.
The oil refiner reported a 60.1 percent year-on-year rise in net profits of NT$75.7 billion, while sales dropped 13.2 percent annually to NT$546.1 billion.
Company officials attributed the performance to higher utilization rates and favorable product mixes, saying that falling international oil prices did not hurt the group’s annual profitability.
International crude oil prices last year slid by US$9.60 per barrel from the previous year, dragging down FPCC’s product prices by an average of US$12.30 per barrel, FPCC president Tsao Minh (曹明) said at a joint earnings conference in Taipei yesterday.
Commenting on its sales outlook for this year, Formosa Plastics chairman Jason Lin (林健男) said that he expects sales momentum to pick up after the Lunar New Year holiday lull, due to improving utilization rates.
Formosa Plastics, the group’s flagship company, is targeting an average utilization rate of 90 percent for this year, compared with last year’s 87 percent, Lin told reporters.
“The pace of recovery in the global economy remains stable and we hope to expand into the Indian and African market’s this year,” he added.
Nan Ya Plastics chairman Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭) also gave a positive sales outlook for this year, saying that soaring demand for copper foil would benefit the company’s revenue in the near term.
Growing demand for electric vehicles will continue to boost demand for copper foil, as the material is a crucial component for manufacturers of electric cars, Wu said.
“Nan Ya’s net profit [for last year] was mainly supported by electric material-related business,” he added.
The other three units also reported an increase in aggregate net profits last year.
Formosa Plastics, the nation’s largest producer of polyvinyl chloride, reported a 27.1 percent annual increase in net income last year to NT$39.3 billion while sales declined 5.9 percent annually to NT$180.2 billion.
Formosa Chemicals, which produces aromatics and styrenics, reported a net profit of NT$43.9 billion, representing a 59.1 percent year-on-year increase, while aggregate sales declined 3.1 percent to NT$319.2 billion.
Nan Ya Plastics, the nation’s largest plastics maker, saw its net profits reach NT$48.8 billion last year, up 36.6 percent from a year earlier, with sales dropping 8.2 percent to NT$275.3 billion.
FPG said it would give its about 30,000 employees bonuses equal to six times their monthly salary this year, as the four major companies reported earnings of NT$7.84 billion on average last year.
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