Tue, Jun 20, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Chia Hsin Cement boss says imports a costlier option

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Chia Hsin Cement Corp (嘉新水泥) yesterday voiced concerns over the local cement supply, saying that the public would face higher costs if the nation were to rely entirely on imports.

A country cannot develop its commodity industries and build infrastructure without mining, Chia Hsin chairman Chang Kang-lung (張剛綸) said at an annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei.

Cement, in particular, is a strategic natural resource, he added.

However, cement suppliers need to take environmental protection into account when mining, Chang said.

Chang made his remarks after Asia Cement Corp (亞泥), one of the nation’s biggest cement makers, on Thursday last week said it would reduce its mining operations in Hualien County by 40 percent, amid protests over the government extending its mining rights in the county by 20 years.

Asked about Chia Hsin’s mining operations, Chang said that the company has halted mining in Taiwan for many years and only distributes products sourced by other cement suppliers.

The 63-year-old firm, which stopped its mining operations in western Taiwan in 2001, has since 2012 shifted its focus to real-estate development services, Chia Hsin’s Web site showed.

Revenue from cement-related businessees only contributed 38 percent to Chia Hsin’s total sales in 2015, while asset management services and cement logistics accounted for 43 percent and 19 percent respectively, its data showed.

Shareholders yesterday approved a proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.2 per share, based on last year’s net profit of NT$24.9 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.04.

That translates into a dividend yield of 1.86 percent based on the stock’s closing price of NT$10.75 yesterday, market data showed.

Chia Hsin gave a relatively positive outlook for this year, saying that it has tapped into the booming market for postpartum nursing services, without providing a sales target.

Chia Hsin is also likely to benefit from the privatization of TCC International Holdings Ltd (TCCI, 台泥國際集團), a major subsidiary of Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥).

The firm is to receive 0.42 Taiwan Cement shares for each TCCI common share.

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