Wed, Nov 15, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Cement’s net profit boosted by price increases

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥), the nation’s leading cement maker, posted net profit of NT$4.95 billion (US$164.02 million) for the first three quarters of this year, up 8.79 percent from NT$4.55 billion in the same period the previous year, boosted by price increases in China.

That translated into earnings of per share of NT$1.34, up from NT$1.23 per share the previous year, company data showed.

From January through September, cumulative revenue rose 9.4 percent to NT$68.95 billion from NT$63.02 billion the previous year.

Operating margin rose to 13.41 percent from 12.75 percent.

The company’s cement business has seen steady growth in profit, offsetting the erosion from its electricity business, which has seen a downward trend, Taiwan Cement president John Li (李鐘培) told an investors’ conference in Taipei yesterday.

Taiwan Cement operates Ho-Ping Power Co (和平電廠).

The cement business generated a profit of NT$5.86 billion in the first three quarters of this year, up 197 percent from NT$1.97 billion in the same period last year, while earnings from Ho-Ping Power plunged 41.9 percent year-on-year to NT$3.53 billion from NT$6.08 billion.

Li attributed the strong performance in the cement business to rising prices in China’s cement manufacturing hubs, such as Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

Taiwan Cement, which operates its Chinese business through Hong Kong-listed TCC International Holdings Ltd (台泥國際集團), is the seventh-largest cement maker by capacity in China.

Taiwan Cement’s product prices in Guangdong Province surged 23.6 percent to 340 yuan (US$51.20) per tonne in September, compared with 275 yuan per tonne the previous year.

The upward trend in cement prices is in the company’s favor and indicate that Beijing’s curbs on cement supply have begun to bear fruit, Li said.

Taiwan Cement is expected to benefit from the Chinese government’s measures to rein in cement capacity expansion, as the policy has mainly weighed on smaller companies that suffer from high energy consumption.

The company also outlined its expansion plans for the coming year, saying that its investments would focus on “green” energy and developing tire recycling technologies.

“Taiwan Cement aims to become an eco-solutions provider,” Taiwan Cement chairman Nelson Chang (張安平) told reporters, citing the idea of the circular economy as the key to the firm’s future.

The 71-year-old company said it has been working on several “green” energy projects for years, including an onshore wind farm at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park (彰濱工業區), but declined to elaborate on its budget.

Taiwan Cement’s ongoing efforts to delist TCC International from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange would be completed next week, TCC International managing director Jason Koo (辜公怡) said.

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