Lite-On delays sale of unit
Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations.
Hiroca approves dividend
Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca Holdings Ltd’s (廣華控股) board of directors yesterday approved a proposal to pay a cash dividend of NT$3.5 per share after posting a net profit of NT$400.53 million (US$13.24 million) for last year, or earnings per share of NT$4.78, a company statement said. The earnings results were lower than the company’s net profit of NT$546.11 million, or NT$6.51 per share, in 2018. Hiroca attributed the 26.6 percent decline to a drop in sales of new vehicles in China and foreign-exchange losses. Revenue last year dropped 7.87 percent to NT$7.43 billion, it said. Despite the pandemic, which disrupted operations at its factories in the first quarter, Hiroca said that it still expects an increase in orders from customers throughout the rest of this year.
Yang Ming losses shrink
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) yesterday reported net losses per share of NT$1.66 for last year, down from losses per share of NT$2.53 a year earlier, thanks to rising revenue, more operating volume and lower unit costs. Last year, the shipper posted net losses of NT$4.31 billion, but revenue increased 5.18 percent to NT$149.18 billion, while operating volume rose 3.88 percent to 5.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units, a company statement said. Yang Ming said that this year, it aims to optimize its operational strategy and implement cost structure enhancements to improve competitiveness and customer service.
Genius plans cash payout
Genius Electronic Optical Co (玉晶光), a camera lens supplier for Apple Inc’s iPhones, plans to pay a cash dividend of NT$9 per share, up from NT$3.5 a year earlier, and spend NT$3.46 billion on capital equipment purchases. Based on last year’s earnings per share of NT$24.79, the dividend represents a payout ratio of 36.3 percent. On Monday, the company reported a record-high net income of NT$2.52 billion for last year, with revenue of NT$12.05 billion — a company record — thanks to robust iPhone 11 sales. The company said its gross margin increased 8.2 percentage points year-on-year to 46.95 percent, thanks to greater efficiency.
Hu to chair Taiwan Water
Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水公司) president Hu Nan-tzer (胡南澤) has succeeded Kuo Chun-ming (郭俊銘) as the company’s new chairman following the Executive Yuan’s approval, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. The 64-year-old Hu, who has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from National Cheng Kung University, has worked at Taiwan Water for about 38 years, the ministry said. Hu has led many construction projects since becoming president in 2013, it said, adding that he would continue to serve as president.
South Korean prosecutors yesterday summoned Samsung Electronics Co vice chairman Jay Y. Lee for questioning in an investigation into alleged accounting fraud and a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, dealing another legal blow to the country’s largest corporation. While expected, the decision marked a deepening of a long-running probe into the billionaire scion and his shipbuilding-to-smartphones Samsung Group conglomerate. The company’s de facto leader was called into Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office at 8am in relation to allegations over illegal acts in succession plans, the Yonhap News Agency reported. Lee has been at the center of a years-long scandal
British no-frills airline EasyJet PLC yesterday said that it would axe up to 4,500 jobs, or almost one-third of its workforce, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages demand and grounds global air travel. “We are planning to reduce the size of our fleet, and to optimize the network and our bases. As a result, we anticipate reducing staff numbers by up to 30 percent across the business and we will continue to remove cost and noncritical expenditure at every level,” EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement. The job cuts would affect up to 4,500 of the carrier’s 15,000 staff, a spokesman
BEIGE BOOK: The US Federal Reserve’s report said that while many contacts were hopeful of a pickup in overall activity, they were pessimistic on the pace of recovery Businesses across the US surveyed by the US Federal Reserve do not appear to share the optimism of US President Donald Trump’s administration about a rapid economic recovery starting this summer. The Fed on Wednesday released a report that draws on business contacts from the central bank’s 12 regions and details the economic damage last month and this month, as measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The report, known as the Beige Book, cited business contacts who were less sanguine about the economy’s outlook than the administration. Trump has forecast “some great numbers” in the final three
Apple Inc is to begin reopening its retail stores in Japan this week, one of its most important markets, after the stores had been shuttered for months due to COVID-19. Two locations — the stores in Fukuoka and Nagoya Sakae — are to reopen tomorrow, according to the company’s retail Web site. Reopening dates for the country’s eight other Apple stores have not yet been posted. In September last year, Apple opened its latest and largest outlet in Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district, close to the historic Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday told a nationally televised