Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Taipei 101 maintains profit amid sector headwinds

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taipei 101, the nation’s tallest skyscraper and a top tourist attraction, reported net income of NT$2.13 billion (US$73.1 million) last year, flat from the previous year, with earnings of NT$1.45 per share.

Despite a continued decline in Chinese tourists, a strategy to expand and diversify sources of revenue paid off, said officials from Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC, 台北金融大樓), the building’s owner.

“The performance was not easy to achieve, as the industry failed to show improvement, while operation and maintenance costs picked up,” TFCC president Chen Shih-ming (陳世明) said in a statement after a board meeting on Wednesday last week to approve the results.

Tourism and retail sales generated two-thirds of overall revenue, Chen said.

The number of Chinese visitors plunged 22 percent to 2.73 million last year, after sliding 16 percent in 2016, government data showed.

Many Chinese tourists consider Taipei 101 a must-see spot in Taiwan, supporting revenue at the high-rise’s observatory, while rental income held relatively stable, as the building remains an international landmark even after several other upscale office spaces entered the market.

The board made no mention of potential board reshuffles nor did it place the issue on its next agenda, as Japan’s Itochu Corp’s acquisition of a 37.17 percent stake in the building from Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) has yet to go through, TFCC officials said.

Food conglomerate Ting Hsin a number of years ago decided to offload holdings in Taipei 101 in the face of a public outcry over a spate of foods safety scandals at the company.

TFCC has won an intellectual property patent for its system streamlining tax returns for foreign visitors, company chairman Chou Te-yu (周德宇) said.

The company in 2015 set up a team to study visitors’ behavior, and with help of big data and financial technology developed an application to increase the ease and convenience of shopping, Chou said.

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