Zhongwang posts 63.5pc profit rise

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 March, 2013, 5:15am


China Zhongwang Holdings, whose reported sales' accuracy and corporate governance have been questioned, posted a 63.5 per cent jump in net earnings.

The Liaoning province-based firm, which claims to be the world's second largest maker of industrial aluminium extrusions, said net profit for last year was 1.81 billion yuan (HK$2.22 billion), up from 1.1 billion yuan in 2011.

Sales grew 31 per cent to 13.5 billion yuan. Gross profit margin rose to 24.1 per cent from 21.6 per cent.

Vice-president Lu Changqing said this reflected higher processing fees, due to an increased focus on more lucrative "deep processing" to produce semi-finished or finished products. They included electric vehicle and railway car bodies and parts, he said.

Stripping out non-recurring income - mainly 211.7 million yuan of government subsidies - pre-tax income grew 53 per cent.

The subsidies were provided by local governments in three cities in which the firm built production facilities, and to subsidise research and development.

Zhongwang said in 2010 it had borrowed 2.3 billion yuan from two unnamed Liaoning banks and lent the money to a local government entity to fund construction projects. It said it wanted "to support local development".

Chief financial officer Vincent Cheung Lap-kei said the subsidies are discretionary and any further subsidies will depend on the firm's "actual development".

Operating net cash-flow dropped to 630 million yuan last year from 3.45 billion yuan in 2011, which Cheung said was mostly due to an increase of year-end aluminium ingot stock by 100,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes.

Asked why it raised the stock, while aiming to raise sales volume by 17 per cent this year, Lu said it stocked up on the belief that aluminium price has bottomed since it is around smelters' break-even points.

No dividend was declared.