NT$2bn factory for Eminent to expand capacity

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter, in Greater Tainan

Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 13

Eminent Luggage Corp (萬國通路), which manufactures suitcases for US brand Samsonite International SA, said yesterday it expects production will expand by more than half after a new NT$2 billion (US$66.8 million) plant is established in 2015.

Capacity is expected to increase 56.25 percent to 5 million units a year from the current 3.2 million units.

“Eminent aims to become not just an original design manufacturer, but an internationally renowned suitcase brand, and that’s why we are establishing a new plant here in Tainan,” Eminent president Dick Hsieh (謝明振) said.

Hsieh’s remarks came after a groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant in Greater Tainan’s Guiren District (歸仁區).

The plant, which will occupy up to 9.6 acres and house an additional 10 assembly lines, is expected to lift annual sales to NT$2.19 billion from the estimated NT$897 million for this year.

“We plan to establish energy-efficient plants and will be opening the plant to visitors, including students, to let them learn how Eminent manufactures luggage,” Hsieh said.

“In order to become a competitive brand in the global market, Eminent is embracing new business models that can help increase our capacity while strengthening our corporate image,” he added.

As Eminent plans to build restaurants within its factory complex for visitors on factory tours, the company said its plant expansion investment could also create more than 2,000 job opportunities.

Currently, Eminent produces suitcases for the world’s top suitcase vendors including Samsonite International SA, Hugo Boss AG, Esprit Holdings Ltd and Puma SE.

Existing manufacturing facilities are mostly based at the company’s plants in Greater Tainan and China’s Guangdong Province, with Eminent supplying luggage made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polypropylene, nylon and polyester.

The new plant is expected to increase its acrylonitrile butadiene styrene suitcase shipments to 1.67 million units from the current 630,000 units a year, which is equivalent to an annual market value of NT$1.77 billion, up 166 percent from the current NT$665 million, the company said.

Polypropylene-made suitcase shipments are expected to grow to 387,000 units in 2015 from the current 210,000 units a year, which is equivalent to an annual market value of NT$4.26 billion, up 84.41 percent from the current NT$2.31 billion a year, it added.

For the first three quarters of the year, Eminent posted net profits of NT$56.94 million, or earnings per share of NT$1.1, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

The figure represents a 36.54 percent growth from profits of NT$41.7 million during the same period of last year, for which the company posted earnings per share of NT$1.07.

Cumulative sales during the January-to-November period totaled NT$3.1 billion, up 3.17 percent from NT$3 billion during the same period of last year, company data show.