Mon, Mar 19, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Life Travel & Tourist Service plans IPO

EXPANSION PLANS:The Kaohsiung firm aims to add six outlets this year to its current 19 and hopes that its IPO will raise between NT$86.3 million and NT$103.56 million

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Life Travel & Tourist Service Co Ltd (五福旅遊) is scheduled to debut on the Taipei Exchange on April 16, becoming the fifth travel agency to list on the nation’s two main bourses.

Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅行社) trades on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰旅行社), Star Travel Corp (燦星旅遊) and Ezfly International Travel Agency Co (易飛網國際旅行社) are listed on the over-the-counter Taipei Exchange.

Kaohsiung-based Life Travel posted a net income of NT$62.47 million (US$2.14 million) last year, a sixfold increase from NT$10.03 million in 2016, with earnings per share rising from NT$0.39 to NT$2.46.

Consolidated revenue increased 8.5 percent year-on-year to NT$6.39 billion last year, on the back of strong demand for the firm’s North Asia and China offerings as well as higher-priced products such as cruise ship tours and long-distance lines to North America and Europe, the company said on Thursday at a news conference in Taipei that was also attended by more than 200 institutional investors and representatives from local tour companies and airlines, including China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) chairman Steve Lin (林寶水).

North Asia, including Japan and South Korea, is a major revenue source, accounting for more than 60 percent last year, the company said.

Trips to China contributed 15 percent to its overall revenue last year and those to Southeast Asian countries made up 11 percent, while long-distance lines took about 10 percent, it said.

European offerings, which have made a substantial increase to revenue in recent years, could double their contribution this year as airlines increase flights to the continent, chief executive Hsieh Hung-ming (謝宏明) said.

Last year, 15.65 million Taiwanese made overseas trips, up 7.3 percent from a year earlier, with 14.25 million people, or 91.05 percent, visiting countries in Asia, Tourism Bureau statistics show.

Japan was the most popular destination, with about 4.62 million visits last year for a 29.52 percent share of total outbound visits, the statistics showed.

Life Travel, which has 730 employees, said it plans to expand its domestic service network by adding six new outlets to its 19 current ones this year.

It will continue adjusting its product portfolio, marketing strategy, distribution channels and cash flows for better results, Hsieh said.

Life Travel is working on a capital increase scheme by issuing 3.45 million new shares, aiming to raise between NT$86.3 million and NT$103.56 million to replenish its working capital. Its initial public offering price might fall within the NT$25 to NT$30 range, Chinese-language media reports said.

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