The four major units of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), Taiwan’s largest industrial conglomerate, on Friday reported a combined net profit of NT$63.39 billion (US$2.23 billion) in the first quarter, up 47 percent from the previous quarter and improving from a net loss of NT$13.99 billion a year earlier.
In a statement, the four units — Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC, 台灣塑膠), Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠), Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) — said that they benefited from higher crude oil prices during the quarter, driven up by a surprise cut in production by Saudi Arabia and a blizzard in Texas.
Their combined revenue grew 17.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 17.8 percent year-on-year to NT$364.77 billion in the first quarter, FPG said.
Photo: Chang Hui-wen, Taipei Times
In the January-to-March period, Formosa Plastics posted net profit of NT$14.9 billion, or earnings per share of NT$2.35 — the highest of the four units.
The company said that a hike in crude oil prices boosted petrochemical product prices by 7 to 58 percent.
Nan Ya Plastics, which posted net profit of NT$17.65 billion, or NT$2.23 per share, said that it was helped by increased demand for electronics materials, driven by an increase in emerging technologies — such as 5G applications and electric vehicles — and a need for devices used in distance learning and remote working.
The prices of bisphenol A, plasticizer and ethylene glycol moved higher because of a supply shortage after the Texas blizzard, the company added.
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre, which benefited from rising demand from China and from clients trying to build up inventories that had been drawn down, posted net profit of NT$12.87 billion, or NT$2.20 per share.
Formosa Petrochemical’s net profit rose 75.8 percent from the fourth quarter of last year to NT$17.98 billion, or earnings per share of NT$1.88, as the company benefited from higher product prices, in particular in its olefins business.
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