Aboitiz Equity earnings dip

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Erramon I. Aboitiz, president and CEO of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. speaks to the press during the company's 20th listing anniversary at the Philippine Stock Exchange, Makati City, in this file photo taken on December 4, 2014. -- BW FILE PHOTO

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) saw its earnings dip in 2017, after incurring higher losses from the operations and refinancing of costs for its power business.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, AEV said net income last year stood at P21.6 billion, 4% lower than the P22.5 billion it generated in 2016. The company attributed the decrease to non-recurring losses for the period, which swelled to P2.3 billion against 2016’s P347 million.

Excluding these one-off losses, AEV’s earnings would have increased by 5% to P23.9 billion.

“While we faced challenges that tested the resilience of our portfolio, these results still showed the underlying strength of our core operating businesses, prompting our optimism on the long-term fundamentals of our businesses,” AEV President and Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz said in a statement.

AEV’s power business remained to be the top contributor among its business, accounting for 69% of 2017 income. The banking and financial services segment followed with a share of 18%, food at 7%, while the remaining 6% is equally split between land and infrastructure.

Aboitiz Power Corp. (APC) generated a net income of P20.4 billion, 2% higher year-on-year, pushing its contribution to the parent to P15.7 billion.

The company recorded P2.9 billion in non-recurring losses for the period, due to the impairment and refinancing costs concerning Aseagas Corp., its renewable energy firm operating a Batangas plant, as well as GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. APC however managed to offset the losses through a recently acquired loan.

AEV’s banking unit through the Union Bank of the Philippines meanwhile penciled in a 17% profit decrease to P8.4 billion, following the absence of one-off trading gains. Core profit jumped 31% to P8.2 billion.

The higher cost of raw materials meanwhile pulled down the net income of AEV’s food business, which includes Pilmico Foods Corp., Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corp., and Pilmico International, Pte. Ltd. The group’s net income slowed 2% to P1.7 billion in 2017.

On the other hand, the expansion of the export segment for the food business boosted Pilmico International’s earning to P98 million, significantly higher than the P7 million its posted in 2016.

Earnings of Aboitiz Land, Inc. also surged last year, jumping 295% to P744.2 million.

“The significant increase was due to exceptional business performance of its units and recognized fair valuation gains on investment properties,” the company said.

Softer cement prices continued to weigh on the performance of Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc., with the company’s contribution to AEV’s income falling by 57% to P671 million. The company noted that while demand for cement grew slightly in 2017, lower prices and higher fuel and power costs failed to push a positive performance for the segment.

The Aboitiz group remains optimistic that its infrastructure business will recover given the government’s drive for more infrastructure projects.

“For Aboitiz, advancing business and communities continues through both ongoing and new initiatives. This year, we look forward to supporting the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program through our infrastructure initiatives that aim to drive economic progress and improve the quality of life of our fellow Filipinos,” Mr. Aboitiz said.

Shares in AEV gained P1.05 or 1.43% to close at P74.30 each at the stock exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia