Votive paper manufacturer triples profits as people burn cash

By Anh Minh   January 21, 2019 | 02:39 pm GMT+7
Votive paper manufacturer triples profits as people burn cash
A worker of Yen Bai Joint Stock Forest Agricultural Products and Foodstuff Company ties a stack of votive paper together during production. Photo by VnExpress

An Yen Bai company that makes votive paper tripled its net profit to VND34.3 billion ($1.48 million) last year.

The Yen Bai Joint Stock Forest Agricultural Products and Foodstuff Company said in its financial report this was due to the rising demand for votive paper and no unexpected costs.

The management said the three main sources of income are votive paper or "ghost money", which is burnt as offerings to deceased relatives during rituals, the raw paper used to make votive paper and cassava starch.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 its revenues jumped of 20 percent year-on-year to nearly VND78 billion ($3.35 million). 

Full-year revenue was VND388.6 billion ($16.71 million), of which 23 percent came from exports.

It only supplies raw paper to the domestic market, and exports its votive products fully to Taiwan. 

The company, formerly known as Yen Bai Paper Factory, was established in 1972 in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai as a state-owned paper mill. 

It was privatized in 2004 with a charter capital of VND5 billion ($215,000).

Every year local people burn millions of dollars’ worth of votive paper offerings.

Official figures from 2010 showed that every year people burned 50,000 tons of votive paper in the form of money, houses, cars, and iPhones. 

People in Hanoi spent the most, around VND400 billion ($17.2 million).

The practice is performed mostly by Buddhist followers, who number around seven million in Vietnam, and is met with criticism every year for its waste, although some people still see it as a deep-rooted part of their culture that should not be abolished.

 
 
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