Wed, Jun 19, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Uni-President is eyeing Asia: Lo

By Kwan Shin-han  /  Staff reporter

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), the nation’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, views Asian markets as the major driving force for growth.

“As Taiwan’s population structure changes and its market becomes more saturated, Uni-President plans to focus on overseas markets to maintain growth,” local media quoted chairman Alex Lo (羅智先) as saying yesterday at the company’s annual general meeting in Tainan.

Expanding and connecting Asian markets is the company’s major goal for the next 50 years, Lo said.

Uni-President was established in 1967.

Asian economies would “undergo massive changes” due to regional trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a Uni-President public relations official told the Taipei Times by telephone.

To strengthen its business in northeastern Asia, Uni-President purchased a 74.74 percent stake in South Korea’s Woongjin Foods Co in December last year, which gained regulatory approval in March.

“The company plans to utilize Woongjin’s brand name and existing sales channels, and aims to provide customers with better and new shopping experiences,” the official quoted Lo as saying.

Uni-President expects the deal to contribute to its sales this year as South Korean products become more popular in Asian markets.

The company is also seeking to merge or form alliances with other Asian companies to launch new products and help grow its business, but it needs to overcome cultural differences in different markets, local media reported.

Separately, drugstore chain Cosmed (康是美), a subsidiary of Uni-President, plans to rejuvenate its corporate image and adjust its product lineup, the official quoted Cosmed chairwoman Shirley Kao (高秀玲) as saying.

Uni-President posted a 3.27 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to NT$183.41 billion (US$5.82 billion) in the first five months.

Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$2.5, implying a payout ratio of 81.43 percent based on last year’s earnings per share of NT$3.07.

That was a dividend yield of 3.11 percent based on the stock’s closing price of NT$80.4 in Taipei trading yesterday.

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