Thu, May 11, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Vigor Kobo calls off plans for listing

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City Department of Health inspectors speak with an employee at Vigor Kobo’s cake factory in Wugu District yesterday.

Photo: CNA, courtesy of New Taipei City Government Department of Health

Vigor Kobo (維格餅家), a bakery specializing in traditional cakes and pastries, yesterday said it has halted plans to list on the Taipei Exchange after it admitted to altering expiration dates and relabeling expired products.

The company’s top priority is to cope with challenges in the wake of the misbehavior, chairman Sun Kuo-hua (孫國華) told a news conference in Taipei.

The announcement came after the Food and Drug Administration accused the company of tampering with the expiration dates on its products.

The expired products have been marked with “EXP,” replacing “valid until” in Chinese, the administration said.

The company saw its shares plunge yesterday 11.77 percent to close at NT$42.71 on the Emerging Stock Market.

Vigor Kobo, which has 13 outlets in Taiwan, made its debut on the Emerging Stock Market in 2012.

Established in 2003, the company has also expanded its footprint in China, backed by Chinese shareholder Fosun Group (復星集團).

Fosun acquired a 20 percent stake in the Taiwanese cake manufacturer in 2012, making it the first Chinese company to receive permission to invest in the nation’s food sector.

Last year was difficult for Vigor Kobo, with sales falling 17.1 percent to NT$944.9 million (US$31.22 million), compared with NT$1.14 billion a year earlier.

Net profit fell 35.9 percent from NT$127.5 million in 2015, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$5.33, to NT$81.7 million last year, or EPS of NT$3.41.

The company attributed the gloomy performance to soft demand, saying that revenue from Chinese customers declined by more than 20 percent over the past few years, while the sharp decline in the number of Chinese tourists has also affected its business.

To improve its capital structure, Vigor Kobo proposed a plan to reduce its capital by NT$71.1 million, or 30 percent, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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