Polyester and textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp (FENC, 遠東新世紀) this year is to become the world’s third-largest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) supplier after completing its expansion projects in the US and Vietnam, a company executive said yesterday.
The company’s West Virginia PET plant, previously owned by M&G USA Corp, is scheduled to begin production in the third quarter of this year with an annual capacity of 360,000 tonnes, FENC chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei.
FENC this year also acquired an integrated PET manufacturing plant from M&G through a joint venture with two foreign firms: Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Holdings LP and Mexico-listed Alpek SAB de CV.
The Texas plant, which is still under construction, would be capable of producing 1.3 million tonnes of purified terephthalic acid and 1.1 million tonnes of PET, the company said.
Continued capacity expansion in the US not only helps the company remove trade barriers, but also secure cheaper materials, Hsu said.
Meanwhile, the company is adding capacity at its Vietnamese production base by constructing a new PET production line, which would become operational next quarter with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes, aiming to take advantage of the Southeast Asian nation’s favorable investment environment.
Hsu said an escalating trade war between the US and China would not weigh on the company’s operations, thanks to its global network of manufacturing sites and flexible business strategy.
“We will keep our roots in Taiwan [despite changing economic conditions],” he told shareholders.
Apart from its core business of polyester manufacturing, FENC expects increasing revenue contribution from its property development projects.
The company, a benchmark subsidiary of Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), owns 570,000 ping (1,900,000m2) of land in Taiwan, including the Taipei Far Eastern Telecom Park (台北遠東通訊園區) project in New Taipei City’s Banciao District.
A residential project located inside the park, built by Far Eastern Construction Co Ltd (遠揚建設), is scheduled to launch presales with a gross floor area of more than 7,000 ping, FENC said.
Shareholders yesterday approved the firm’s proposal to pay a cash dividend of NT$1.2 per share, the highest level in three years, based on last year’s earnings of NT$1.61 per share.
That translated into a dividend yield of 4.15 percent based on FENC shares closing price of NT$28.9 yesterday.
FENC’s revenue rose 1 percent to NT$217.85 billion last year from NT$215.86 billion in 2016, while net profit grew 28 percent to NT$8.07 billion from NT$6.31 billion.
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