Tatung Co (大同) chairwoman Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) on Wednesday apologized to shareholders for the company’s failure to distribute a cash dividend this year, despite improved profitability.
Tatung last year swung back into the black, reporting a net profit of NT$74.07 million (US$2.42 million at the current exchange rate), or earnings per share of NT$0.02, compared with losses of NT$2.34 billion in 2016.
Revenue last year declined 2.7 percent annually from NT$77.68 billion to NT$75.55 billion, but gross margin improved from 13.63 percent to 15.64 percent, company data showed.
Despite the improved bottom line, Lin Kuo told shareholders that the company was still unable to distribute a dividend and that it would use a special reserve of NT$281 million to help recoup the losses it posted over the years.
As of the end of the first quarter this year, the company’s accumulated losses totaled NT$987.56 million, company data showed.
The home appliance supplier, widely known for its rice cookers, has not paid a cash dividend since 2002.
With the aim of increasing profit sources, the 90-year-old company’s board has approved a proposal to construct a 120 megawatt solar power plant in the Tainan Chi-Gu Fishery and Solar Special Zone (台南七股漁光特區).
The application process for the investment would be completed by the end of this year at the earliest, Tatung said.
The firm had planned to raise capital through the issuance of 400 million new shares to improve its financial structure, but the Financial Supervisory Commission last month rejected its application.
The company’s cumulative revenue in the first five months of this year fell 9.35 percent to NT$27.2 billion, compared with NT$30 billion in the same period last year.
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