Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial group, plans to give its employees annual bonuses equal to about four months’ salary this year, as the group’s earnings have increased this year and its outlook for next year remains positive.
“[The bonuses for] this year will definitely be higher than last year and will be about four times our employees’ monthly salaries,” FPG general administration director Ho Shui-wen (侯水文) said at the group’s press conference on Friday.
Bonuses given out earlier this year were a record-low 2.83 times employees’ monthly salaries because all four main units of FPG — Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖) — recorded declining profits last year due to a weakened global economy.
For the first three quarters of the year, the four companies reported profit growth of between 25 percent and 26.87 percent from a year ago, according to the companies’ filings with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Both Formosa Plastics and Formosa Petrochemical expect their revenues for next quarter to be higher than this quarter, while Nan Ya Plastics and Formosa Chemicals have forecast stable revenues from this quarter.
Formosa Plastics Corp president Jason Lin (林健男) said that the prices of many of its products, such as polychlorinated biphenyl and sodium hydroxide, are on the rise, and that the hikes are likely to continue at least to the end of February next year.
The company is set to expand in Ningbo, China, next year, increasing its production of polyvinylchloride by 70,000 tonnes per year, alcohol ethoxylates by 200,000 tonnes, ethylene vinyl acetate by 72,000 tonnes a year and super-absorbent polymers by 60,000 tonnes.
The company’s steel plant in Fujian Province, China, which has a capacity of 720,000 tonnes a year, will also start operating at full capacity in May, it said.
Formosa Petrochemical president Tsao Mihn (曹明) said he is optimistic about the next quarter since demand for ethylene, propene and butadiene is strong in China, and that while oil supply demands in China, Singapore, South Korea and India are declining, demand for oil in Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia is strong.
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre president Hong Fu-yuan (洪福源) said the company will be affected by fewer work days next quarter, but the economic conditions in China and the US are likely to be better next year, so its revenue will likely remain level this quarter.
The company will expand its capacity for plastics by 400,000 tonnes to 450,000 tonnes a year and for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene by 500,000 tonnes a year by the end of the third quarter next year, Hong said, adding that its capacity for phenol is to rise by 500,000 tonnes a year in the fourth quarter.
Nan Ya chairman Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭) said fewer work days in the upcoming quarter will hamper production, but the production volume and price of its ethylene glycol next quarter are likely to be higher than this quarter, which will offset the decline.
Nan Ya’s capacity for a glycerophospholipid of the phosphatidylethanolamine class will increase by 100,000 tonnes a year starting next quarter. The new capacity is expected to generate revenue of NT$5 billion to NT$5.5 billion (US$169 million to US$186 million) a year for the company, Wu said.