Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical swings to Q4 net gain of $315m

19 March 2010 07:23  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp has posted a year-on-year net profit of New Taiwan dollar (NT$) 10bn ($315m) in the fourth quarter of 2009 as demand rose for consumer end-products, analysts said on Friday.

The company had incurred a net loss of NT$30bn in the corresponding period in 2008, a company source said.

Sales for the fourth quarter ending 31 December 2009 increased 43% year on year to NT$178bn, with petrochemicals making up around 30% of the company’s total sales, the source added.

Danny Ho, an analyst at Yuanta Securities in Taipei, said good sales of end-products such as automobiles lifted the demand for Formosa Petrochemicals’ products.

The number of new cars registered in the country had more than doubled in the fourth quarter compared with the year-ago period, according to the country’s statistics bureau.

Analysts said that an increase in consumer spending in electronics and garments, important downstream industries for petrochemicals, also contributed to a rise in demand.

Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 9.22% year on year in the fourth quarter, the statistics bureau said.

The country’s GDP was expected to remain bullish in 2010, the bureau said, adding that the GDP growth forecast for the year had been revised to 4.72% from 4.39% in its previous estimate.

Formosa Petrochemical’s full-year net income more than doubled to NT$39.2bn, from NT$15.2bn in 2008, the company source said.

Meanwhile, sales for the full year fell 28% to NT$634bn, the source added.

The Formosa Plastics Group consists of four main business units – Formosa Petrochemical Corp, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp, Formosa Plastics Corp and Nan Ya Plastics Corp.

($1 = NT$31.77)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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