Taiwan's Far Eastern Textile Ltd, one of Asia's largest polyester makers, posted a net profit of NT$212.7m in the first quarter, down from NT$847.4m in the same period last year, the company said.

First quarter earnings per shares was NT$0.07, down from NT$0.31 in the same period last year, the company said.

As reported previously, Far Eastern's revenue in the first three months of the year was NT$8.15bn, up 6.1 per cent from NT$7.68bn in the same period last year, the company said.

Far Eastern Textile posted an operating loss of NT$167.6m in the first quarter, compared with an operating profit of NT$1.29m in the same period last year, largely due to the low capacity utilisation rate for the company's polyester filament operations, said a company official.

The capacity utilisation rate for the company's polyester filament business was at 70 per cent in the first quarter, down from 85 per cent last year, he added.

Polyester filaments account for roughly one third of Far Eastern's business.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter prices of cotton yarn, another important product for the company, were 19 per cent lower than a year ago, the official said.

The company was able to post a net profit in the first quarter mainly because of the investment gains from its two major units, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. and Far Eastern Polychem Industries Ltd. (Q.FEP), the official said.

He expects Far Eastern Textile to post better results in the second quarter, thanks to stable or lower prices of major raw materials driving down production costs.

Early Monday, the company's shares were up NT$0.10 to NT$20.50.