Chinese paper-making group Lee & Man has said that it sees opportunity for the business overseas rather than in China.
Revealing its interim results for the first half of 2018, the company announced revenue had grown to HK16.37 billion (£1.59 billion) compared to HK11.44 billion (£1.11 billion) in the same period in 2017.
Interim net profit had increased by 35.9% to HK2.98 billion (£289 million) compared to the first six months of 2017.
In the results, Lee & Man chief executive Edmond Lee said that the company would be looking to invest abroad rather than in China.
He said: “Looking ahead, the Group aims to boost the development scale, make proactive effort in diversifying the paper and pulp business and seeking opportunities for overseas expansion, while at the same time maintaining stable production for its plants in China. Leveraging its leading position in the paper manufacturing industry and its consistently solid development advantage, the Group believes that it can maximise the return to shareholders.”
Lee & Man currently has six packaging paper plants in China and Vietnam with a new machine due to open in Vietnam in 2019 that will provide an extra 500,000 tonnes of production capacity.
It also has 12 tissue paper machines in China.
Earlier in the year, it was revealed that Lee & Man was investigating the possibility of opening a paper mill in Myanmar.
However, Lee & Man also said that current conditions were good for the business. Chairman Raymond Lee added: “The Mainland government has carried out a supply-side reform and tightened the environmental protection policy in recent years, enabling further regulation and consolidation in the paper manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, with the gradual pick-up in the demand for paper products, and the improved demand and supply situation, the Group is expected to be able to benefit from the product price hike. Given this favourable industry environment, it is believed that the Group will be able to further solidify its leading position in the paper manufacturing industry by dint of its robust technology advantage.”
The results did not mention how a ban on imports of paper to China might affect its business, or the existing ban on mixed paper imports that was brought in at the start of this results period.
Lee & Man is supplied by Mark Lyndon Paper Enterprises in the UK, US and Europe.