(Yicai Global) April 29 -- Gree Electric Appliances will distribute a CNY9 billion (USD1.3 billion) annual dividend among shareholders after the world's largest maker of home air-conditioners surprised the market a year ago by deciding not to pay one for 2017.
Gree will return CNY15 (USD2.20) for every 10 shares held, the Zhuhai-based company said in an earnings report yesterday. The firm astonished shareholders last April by choosing not to pay a dividend for 2017, the first time it had not in 11 years.Net profit rose 17 percent to CNY26.2 billion last year on an almost 34 percent gain in operating income to CNY198.1 billion (USD29.4 billion). Production and sales of household appliances climbed both at home and abroad, exceeding expectations, the earnings report showed.
Almost four-fifths of revenue came from Gree's core aircon business, down nearly 5 points from 2017. Income from electrical appliances surged 65 percent and that from smart devices rose 46 percent.
This year, Gree predicts its home market to grow 2.3 percent, spurred by policies to promote environmentally friendly home appliances.
Gree plans to develop new goods and aims to boost online sales in 2019. The company will upgrade its mobile phones to support the Internet of Things technologies and invest more in the development of handsets that use fifth-generation wireless networks. The firm will also seek to develop its own chips.
The company's shares [SHE:000651] fell almost 0.8 percent today to close at CNY57.31 (USD8.60). The benchmark Shenzhen Composite Index lost 2.9 percent as mainland stock markets ended lower.
Editor: Emmi Laine