Hiroca income falls 29.58%
Automotive components maker Hiroca Holdings Ltd (廣華控股) yesterday reported net income of NT$546.11 million (US$17.71 million) for last year, down 29.58 percent from a year earlier due to higher operating expenses, impairment charges and foreign-exchange losses. Earnings per share were NT$6.51. Cumulative sales increased 1.19 percent year-on-year to NT$8.06 billion. Hiroca, which produces automotive interior trim parts, as well as plastic, fabric and leather decorations, said its board has proposed distributing a cash dividend of NT$3.5 per share, which represents a payout ratio of 53.8 percent. With the company’s shares yesterday closing at NT$77.3 in Taipei trading, the proposed dividend suggests a yield of 4.53 percent.
Yang Ming still in the red
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) yesterday said its volumes for last year increased 11 percent year-on-year to 5.23 million twenty-foot-equivalent units and consolidated revenue rose 8.21 percent to NT$141.83 billion, but the company was still in the red, with a net loss of NT$6.59 billion, or losses per share of NT$2.53. The company attributed the losses to higher global bunker fuel prices, which increased by 31.17 percent compared with the previous year.
China Electric buys building
China Electric Manufacturing Corp (中國電器), which sells lighting products under the TOA (東亞) brand, yesterday said its property development subsidiary has reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Best Combo Ltd (盛至) to purchase an office building in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) for NT$1.45 billion. The building is being used by Next TV (壹電視). Meanwhile, the company said it is planning a capital reduction scheme to adjust its capital structure and increase shareholder returns. China Electric plans to reduce its paid-in capital by 10 percent to NT$398 million, while returning NT$1 per share to shareholders, as well as a proposed cash dividend of NT$0.15 per share, it said.
Subsidiaries to be merged
King’s Town Bank Co Ltd (京城銀行) yesterday said its board of directors has approved a plan to merge two wholly owned subsidiaries to expand customer services, strengthen customer protection and integrate resources to achieve synergies. King’s Town said in a regulatory filing that the integration of Tainan Life Insurance Agent Co Ltd (台南人身保險代理人) and Fu Chen Property Insurance Agent Co Ltd (府城財產保險代理人) is expected to reduce operational costs and have a positive impact on net value and earnings per share. The effective date of the merger has been set for June 3, King’s Town said.
GDP to grow at least 2%
GDP growth for this year is to remain above 2 percent due to firming domestic demand and investment, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台灣經濟研究院) president Chang Chien-yi (張建一) said. While Chang acknowledged that this year’s growth momentum would be weaker than last year, when growth was 2.63 percent, there are also positive developments that should keep growth from slumping below 2 percent. Chang said most domestic enterprises have prepared for the challenges, while the government’s policy of attracting overseas Taiwanese businesses to return to Taiwan is expected to spur domestic demand, he said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone