Hotai profits jump on increased sales, subsidiaries’ gains

BACK ON TRACK::The nation’s No. 1 car retailer said it recovered last year from a weak performance in 2011, when it failed to deliver products on time

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 - Page 13

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation’s largest automobile retailer and distributor, said its pretax profits grew 13.21 percent to NT$8.4 billion (US$284 million) last year, on the back of an increase in sales and investment gains from subsidiaries like car rental company Hotai Leasing Corp (HLC, 和運租車).

In 2011, Hotai made NT$7.42 billion in pre-tax profits.

Operating profit grew 11.6 percent to NT$3.78 billion last year from NT$3.39 billion a year earlier, Hotai said on Monday in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

“The growth [of our operating profit] last year was caused by low base level in 2011, which was caused by the March 11 earthquake in Japan and flooding in Thailand,” Hotai spokesman Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said by telephone yesterday. “We were unable to deliver products on time in 2011, but our performance returned to its previous level last year.”

Investment gains, which accounted for 55 percent of the firm’s total profits last year, grew 14.56 percent to NT$4.62 billion from NT$4.03 billion a year ago, the filing showed.

Hotai, the distributor of Toyota Motor Corp’s Lexus and Toyota brand cars, sold 123,740 vehicles last year, up 3.6 percent from the 119,460 sold the previous year, the car retailer said.

Hotai also expanded into related automobile businesses through the setting up of several subsidiary companies, such as HLC, Hotai Finance Corp (HFC, 和潤企業), which provides car loan and insurance services, and Carmax Co Ltd (車美仕), which produce car parts for Toyota.

Last year, HLC and HFC reported pretax profits of NT$2 billion.

For the whole of last year, Hotai reported NT$89.66 billion in revenue, up 4.29 percent from the NT$85.97 billion posted a year ago.

Hotai’s shares grew 2.18 percent to NT$234.5 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which was up 1.13 percent.

For the past 12 months, Hotai’s shares went up by 54.79 percent, while the TAIEX went up by 7.86 percent.