We drive business transformation and deliver performance in response to shareholders' support and encouragement.
2019 was a challenging year for most businesses. Global economic growth slowed due to the disruptions from trade disputes and geopolitical conflicts, as well as the uncertainties in outlook and negative impact to business/consumer confidence. TSRC’s business was not immune to these negative factors and experienced a decline in overall financial performance compared to prior year. Amidst the economic and market headwinds, TSRC’s synthetic rubber business managed to leverage on the opportunities with increased price gap between natural rubber (NR) and BD to grow volume and also increase sales to higher margin non-tire applications. TPE business had a difficult time against pricing pressure and economic headwinds, resulting in declined performance versus 2018.
In total, the shipment of synthetic rubber and TPE products was 488 thousand metric tons in 2019, an increase of 8% versus prior year. Consolidated revenue was NTD 28,911 million, a decrease of 3% compared to NTD 29,751 million in the prior year. Consolidated gross profit was down 3% to NTD 3,377 million and margin was 12%. Consolidated operating profit was NTD 1,085 million, a reduction of 17% compared to the prior year. As a result, net income was NTD 740 million while EPS was NTD 0.90, representing a 38% decline from 2018.
In building our capabilities to become a global specialty chemical company, we successfully completed the construction of the new twenty-thousand-metric-tons-per-year advanced SEBS line in Nantong, China and the new seven-thousand-metric-tons-per-year advanced shoe materials (ASM) plant in Vietnam in 2019 with planned commercial production in 2020. In addition, TSRC Global Application Research Center was inaugurated in Shanghai with the objective of utilizing TSRC’s high-quality polymers and technology to accelerate collaboration with customers in elastomer/ polymer compounds and their downstream applications, such as medical and specialty films. These new assets, along with innovative technologies and new market development, strengthen TSRC’s position in specialty chemicals and applications.
In terms of technology innovation, key research milestones include successful adoption of functional modification in next generation synthetic rubber products, development of new generation HSBC technologies in novel applications such as medical, specialty film, foaming and automotive component, and the implementation of new process technologies in upgrading existing and new manufacturing assets. In 2019, TSRC was granted 11 patents.
For the year of 2020, global economic growth continues to be weakened, especially with the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak directly impacted China’s economy and also caused a broad-based impact globally due to China’s position in the global supply chain and international trade. TSRC’s operation will inevitably be affected in the first-half of 2020, but we expect to recover in the second-half of 2020 assuming that the epidemic stabilizes. TSRC’s priority, during this difficult period, is to ensure the safety of our employees and to support our key customers to stabilize and sustain their businesses. We will also continue our long-term development projects for new products and technology solutions. TSRC will endeavor to achieve the previously set target of 4% increase in sales volume in 2020 and remain vigilant to respond to volatile market changes and long-term growth opportunities.
Despite the increasingly challenging external environment, TSRC is dedicated to strengthening our business portfolio and growth in high value market segments and applications. TSRC will focus to achieve short term and lasting benefits through enhanced technology and capabilities, and continue the momentum towards our vision of being a global specialty chemical company.