Terry Gou takes retirement off table for next five years

Taipei, Terry Gou (???), founder and chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest multinational contract manufacturer of electronics, vowed Friday not to retire over the next five years and set himself the goal of raising the company's share price to NT$200 (US$6.6).

"I'm not going to talk about the handover issue now as I will not consider retiring for five years as the company undergoes transformation," he said at a shareholders' meeting.

Gou stressed that he is in very good health and promised to do everything in his power to increase the price of Hon Hai shares to NT$200. He apologized for the current evaluation of the shares but reiterated that "he will not consider retiring before the share price reaches NT$200."

Shares in Hon Hai slid 0.48 percent to finish at NT$82.3 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Friday -- a long way from their historical high of NT$300 on June 21, 2007.

He also apologized for Hon Hai's failure to beat the 10 percent growth target set for 2017, pointing out that the company has devised several strategies to improve its revenue and results this year.

Hon Hai's consolidated revenue for 2017 was NT$4.7 trillion, a 7.98 percent increase from 2016. It also recorded NT$138.734 billion in net profit last year, a fall of 6.68 percent compared with 2016.

However, Gou admitted that the company faces challenges ahead due to the drastic structural changes taking place in the high-tech sector.

The next three years will be of critical importance to Hon Hai as it seeks to move into big data, artificial intelligence and Internet of things, Gou said, forecasting that 80 percent of the manpower on Hon Hai production lines will be replaced by robots in 5-10 years.

"Hon Hai will continue to pursue technological innovation and recruit talent from across the globe to achieve excellence," he concluded.

Hon Hai also doled out a cash dividend of NT$2 and cash distribution of NT$2 per share to shareholders from its first ever capital reduction announced during the shareholders' meeting.

In total, Hon Hai will pay NT$34.657 billion to shareholders from the 20 percent capital reduction.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel