Taipei-The four major entities of conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) had a combined net profit of over NT$63 billion (US$2.22 billion) in the first quarter, compared with a net loss in the same period last year.
In a statement, the four FPG subsidiaries -- Formosa Plastics Corp., Nan Ya Plastics Corp., Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp., and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. -- said they benefited from higher crude oil prices during the quarter, driven up by a surprise production cut by Saudi Arabia and a blizzard in Texas.
Their combined net profit totaled NT$63.39 billion, representing 87.2 percent of their total net income of NT$72.69 billion for all of 2020.
The gains were up 47 percent from the previous quarter and well above the net loss of NT$13.99 billion in the first quarter of 2020, when prices were depressed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four companies combined for consolidated sales of NT$364.77 billion in the quarter, up 17.8 percent from a year earlier and up 17.4 percent from a quarter earlier, the group said.
In the statement, Formosa Plastics, which posted a Q1 net profit of NT$14.9 billion and earnings per share of NT$2.35, the highest of the four companies, said a hike in crude oil prices boosted petrochemical product prices by between 7 and 58 percent in the three-month period.
Nan Ya Plastics said it was helped by increased demand for its products for electronics use, driven by the rise of emerging technologies such as 5G applications and electronic vehicles and the need for devices related to online learning and remote work.
The company, which posted a net profit of NT$17.65 billion, or NT$2.23 per share, also said prices of bisphenol A, plasticizer and ethylene glycol moved higher because of a supply shortage after the Texas blizzard.
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre, which benefited from rising demand from China and from clients trying to build up inventories that had been drawn down, posted a net profit of NT$12.87 billion in the first quarter, or NT$2.20 per share.
Meanwhile, Formosa Petrochemical had a Q1 net profit of NT$17.98 billion, up 75.8 percent from a quarter earlier, with EPS at NT$1.88. It also benefited from higher product prices, in particular in its olefins business.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel