Ayala Corp. income down 17% as lockdown hits businesses

ayala corp income down 17 as lockdown hits businesses - Ayala Corp. income down 17% as lockdown hits businesses

EARNINGS of Ayala Corp. (AC) dropped 17% to P6.7 billion in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic dragged its property, banking and industrial segments.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Wednesday, the listed conglomerate said its consolidated revenues fell 11% to P61.72 billion in the first three months of the year, reflecting the impact of government lockdowns across its business units.

If it were to isolate the estimated impact of the coronavirus crisis, AC said its net income would have been flat due to the P1 billion divestment gains from merging AC Education and iPeople last year.

The company’s costs and expenses during the period fell 10% to P45.64 billion. Capital expenditures for parent-only businesses stood at P6.9 billion.

By business segment, real estate arm Ayala Land, Inc. posted the largest profit drop of 41% to P4.3 billion. This is attributable to the 38% lower property development revenues at P17.2 billion due to the eruption of Taal volcano in January. Leasing revenues from shopping centers and hotels also fell 9% and 17% to P4.6 billion and P1.6 billion, respectively, because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in mid-March.

Banking unit Bank of the Philippine Islands booked 5% lower net earnings at P6.4 billion, traceable to its aggressive provisioning during the period. The company posted P4.2 billion in loan-loss provisions as it expected an increase in non-performing loans because of the pandemic.

Profits of telecommunications arm Globe Telecom, Inc. slipped 2% to P6.6 billion due to higher depreciation from network investments and an increase in non-operating charges. Its capital expenditures rose 22% to P10.7 billion to support higher demand for data-related services.

Power segment AC Energy Philippines, Inc. swung to a profit of P1.96 billion from a net loss of P2 million last year. This was driven by the P1.3-billion pre-operating revenues from its Mindanao-based subsidiary GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co., on top of the recovery of costs it incurred from adjustments in the construction and operations of its power plants.

Water unit Manila Water Co., Inc. posted a 4% net income growth to P1.3 billion due to non-recurring events of paying a regulatory penalty and waiving water bills last year. Its revenues rose 9% partly due to higher billed volumes.

Industrial segment led by AC Industrials saw a net loss of P564 million on the back of a global slowdown. Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. booked a net loss of P235 million, largely due to the lockdown of its facilities in China in February. AC Motors posted a net loss of P204 million, mostly due to the closure of its Honda Car Philippines facility in Laguna.

“While the outlook for the business environment has fundamentally changed as a result of this crisis, we take comfort in the fact that we have always maintained a strong balance sheet that provides us with flexibility as we navigate the uncertainties,” Ayala President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a statement.

“[W]e have put in place a health protocol to ensure the re-entry of our workforce in a safe and productive way… We believe this is a critical step as our businesses readjust to this new environment,” Ayala Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala added.

Shares in AC at the stock exchange lost P13 or 1.85% to P691 apiece on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez

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