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Wowprime tops list of most innovative enterprises in '13

TAIPEI--Wowprime Corp. (王品集團), one of Taiwan's largest restaurant chain operators, topped a list of the most innovative companies in Taiwan for 2013, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The IDB said Wowprime rose from fourth place in 2012 to replace smartphone vendor HTC Corp. as the most innovative company in Taiwan. HTC dropped to fourth position in this year's rankings.

The survey, which targeted middle- and high-ranking executives in the top 5,000 enterprises in Taiwan, found that Wowprime impressed the respondents due to its efforts to boost market visibility by creating more brands to expand its operations.

The IDB said Wowprime is also gearing up to extend its reach beyond Taiwan to further accelerate its growth.

Currently, Wowprime owns over 10 brands, including its flagship Wang Steak chain, while operating more than 330 stores in Taiwan and China.

The restaurant chain operator launched its first Tokiya outlet in Bangkok in September, and is planning to open a joint-venture vegetarian restaurant in Singapore next year.

Wowprime Chairman Steve Day (戴勝益) said at the company's year-end banquet Wednesday that the firm's sales for 2013 are expected to rise more than 20 percent from a year earlier and that he expects sales growth momentum to continue into 2014.

In the first 11 months of this year, the company's consolidated sales rose 21.18 percent to about NT$14.8 billion.

Day added that most of his employees will get a salary increase of 1.5-4.5 percent, starting from Jan. 1.

In the IDB rankings, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電), which is the world's largest contract chipmaker, and personal computer vendor Asustek Computer Inc. came in second and third, respectively, unchanged from last year.

President Chain Store Corp. (統一超), which operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Taiwan, took fifth place, ahead of integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co. (巨大機械), textile firm Eclat Textile Co. (儒鴻紡織), bookstore chain operator Eslite Spectrum Corp. (誠品生活) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密).

The ranking of Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics supplier, fell to 10th from the sixth place recorded last year.

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Wowprime Group (王品集團) Chairman Steve Day (戴勝益) gives his employees some primetime “wow,” donning a wig and skimpy miniskirt while shimmying to a T-pop song at the company's ...

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