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Oil business just drop in the bucket for Ting Hsin group

2014/10/16 22:40:27

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) Scandal-ridden food maker Ting Hsin International Group's Thursday announcement it will shut down its oil producing business surprised many, but the move is unlikely to make a lasting dent in the vast conglomerate's diverse operations.

Ting Hsin encompasses food, real estate and telecommunications business in Taiwan and China with annual revenues of around NT$2.5 trillion (US$82.19 billion).

In the food industry, it is behind the popular Master Kong brand of instant noodles and the Wei Chuan Food Co., which are listed in Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively.

Ting Hsin holds over 33 percent of stake in Master Kong and around 44 percent of Wei Chuan shares.

The instant noodles, tea, bottled water and fruit juice products under the Master Kong brand have top market share in the vast China consumer market, bringing in over US$10 billion last year.

As for the oil business, Wei Chuan has not been making oil since its embroilment last November in the use of oils marketed as pure despite having been mixed with lower quality oils.

Ting Hsin's own oils are mainly produced by Ting Hsin Oil & Fat Co. and Cheng I Food Co. Revenues of the former totaled NT$800 million and the latter brought in NT$1.2 billion last year, data showed.

While NT$2 billion is no small number, it only makes up about 0.08 percent of the group's revenue.

The announcement that the food giant will give up the lucrative market could ultimately help it to save the reputation of Wei Chuan, a long-established food company mainly focused on dairy products and beverages, which is worth about NT$30 billion.

(By Tien Yu-pin and Lilian Wu)

Related stories:
●Oct. 16: Ting Hsin announces withdrawal from Taiwan's oil market
●Oct. 16: Prosecutors search Wei Chuan offices, question former chairman
●Oct. 15: Prosecutors seize assets of Ting Hsin's former chairman