CPC posts higher earnings than 3 other firms run by MOEA

Taipei-Oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan reported higher earnings for 2017 than the other three state-run companies under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), thanks mainly to higher global crude oil prices, MOEA data showed Tuesday.

CPC's pre-tax profit in 2017 was NT$50.4 billion (US$1.71 billion), a significant increase from the NT$35 billion reported the previous year and the highest since 1989, according to the data from MOEA's State-Owned Enterprise Commission.

The other three companies under the MOEA's supervision, meanwhile, saw lower earnings than CPC, with Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) reporting NT$20.5 billion in pretax profit in 2017, Taiwan Sugar Corp. (Taisugar) NT$2.47 billion, and Taiwan Water Corp. (TWC) NT$583 million, according to the data.

In 2015, CPC reported losses of NT$33.8 billion, but it turned to profit in 2016 and continued to improve in 2017, the data showed.

Commenting on CPC's 2017 earnings, the company's spokeswoman Ann S.C. Bih (???) said it raked in higher returns from oil and gas sales last year, as the global petrochemical industry was boosted by higher crude prices.

CPC also benefited from its non-core business investments, she told the press, but did not give any details of the investments.

For its part, Taipower's 2017 earnings fell from NT$35.4 billion the previous year, but the company has remained in the black for four straight years, the data showed.

Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (???) said the company's earnings came largely from it electricity supply to the country, but the increase in international fuel prices had driven up operation costs, while Taiwan's reduced nuclear power generation had also affected Taipower's bottom line for 2017.

Despite its earnings in the past four years, Lin said, Taipower still has an accumulated loss of NT$73.5 billion.

He said it has not yet been decided whether electricity rates would be increased to reduce the aggregate loss and that such a decision would have to come from the MOEA's electricity rate evaluation commission.

Meanwhile, Taisugar's 2017 earnings came largely from its sugar and cooking oil sales, while its retail operations and agricultural business continued to incur losses, according to its vice president Hung Huo-wen (???).

The fourth company, TWC, recorded its biggest earnings ever in 2017, which company spokesman Wu Ching-wen (???) attributed to higher water consumption and lower operating costs.

The four companies will have to be audited by the National Audit Office of the Control Yuan before any decision could be made on the distribution of annual bonuses to their employees, according to the State-Owned Enterprise Commission.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel