Panva rules out payout in growth push

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 12:00am

Panva Gas Holdings has embarked on an expansion drive and ruled out any prospect of dividend payouts in the next few years.

Managing director Wayne Chen Wei, who revealed yesterday a 57.7 per cent rise in net profit to $209.07 million for last year, said the piped-gas service provider's priority was to grow its share in the mainland's fledgling market.

On the back of the state's favourable policy on gas provision services, Panva wanted to strengthen its war chest for larger-scale acquisitions in provincial cities such as central and eastern China, he said.

This meant a shift of strategy from smaller to medium-sized cities such as Zunyi in Guizhou and Chizhou in Anhui to provincial ones such as Jinan in Shandong and Chongqing in Sichuan.

'As a growing company, we need a lot of capital for mergers and acquisitions,' Mr Chen said. 'There are many opportunities around, and Panva should grow further in the next few years. I don't see any near-term plans for dividends.'

Turnover for last year was 26.7 per cent higher at $1.45 billion as the number of new customers rose 25 per cent to about two million.


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