Hiroca income falls 29.58%
Automotive components maker Hiroca Holdings Ltd (廣華控股) yesterday reported net income of NT$546.11 million (US$17.71 million) for last year, down 29.58 percent from a year earlier due to higher operating expenses, impairment charges and foreign-exchange losses. Earnings per share were NT$6.51. Cumulative sales increased 1.19 percent year-on-year to NT$8.06 billion. Hiroca, which produces automotive interior trim parts, as well as plastic, fabric and leather decorations, said its board has proposed distributing a cash dividend of NT$3.5 per share, which represents a payout ratio of 53.8 percent. With the company’s shares yesterday closing at NT$77.3 in Taipei trading, the proposed dividend suggests a yield of 4.53 percent.
Yang Ming still in the red
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) yesterday said its volumes for last year increased 11 percent year-on-year to 5.23 million twenty-foot-equivalent units and consolidated revenue rose 8.21 percent to NT$141.83 billion, but the company was still in the red, with a net loss of NT$6.59 billion, or losses per share of NT$2.53. The company attributed the losses to higher global bunker fuel prices, which increased by 31.17 percent compared with the previous year.
China Electric buys building
China Electric Manufacturing Corp (中國電器), which sells lighting products under the TOA (東亞) brand, yesterday said its property development subsidiary has reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Best Combo Ltd (盛至) to purchase an office building in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) for NT$1.45 billion. The building is being used by Next TV (壹電視). Meanwhile, the company said it is planning a capital reduction scheme to adjust its capital structure and increase shareholder returns. China Electric plans to reduce its paid-in capital by 10 percent to NT$398 million, while returning NT$1 per share to shareholders, as well as a proposed cash dividend of NT$0.15 per share, it said.
Subsidiaries to be merged
King’s Town Bank Co Ltd (京城銀行) yesterday said its board of directors has approved a plan to merge two wholly owned subsidiaries to expand customer services, strengthen customer protection and integrate resources to achieve synergies. King’s Town said in a regulatory filing that the integration of Tainan Life Insurance Agent Co Ltd (台南人身保險代理人) and Fu Chen Property Insurance Agent Co Ltd (府城財產保險代理人) is expected to reduce operational costs and have a positive impact on net value and earnings per share. The effective date of the merger has been set for June 3, King’s Town said.
GDP to grow at least 2%
GDP growth for this year is to remain above 2 percent due to firming domestic demand and investment, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台灣經濟研究院) president Chang Chien-yi (張建一) said. While Chang acknowledged that this year’s growth momentum would be weaker than last year, when growth was 2.63 percent, there are also positive developments that should keep growth from slumping below 2 percent. Chang said most domestic enterprises have prepared for the challenges, while the government’s policy of attracting overseas Taiwanese businesses to return to Taiwan is expected to spur domestic demand, he said.
More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s (富士康) huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory dealt a fresh blow to the Taiwanese company, which has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled worker discontent and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday. Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
’INHERENT VULNERABILITIES’: The country has been working with the US to build its own lithium and rare earth mines in a bid to curb China’s dominance in the market Australia is vowing more assertive scrutiny of foreign investments in key commodities tied to electric vehicles and clean energy, in a potential warning to China which dominates the market. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has asked the country’s Treasury to work with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other stakeholders to undertake a review of foreign investment in sectors such as lithium and rare earths, he told a conference in Sydney yesterday. “We’ll need to be more assertive about encouraging investment that clearly aligns with our national interest in the longer term,” Chalmers said. Although Chalmers did not directly identify China investment as
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The