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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Higher revenue across units lifts Metro Pacific's 2014 profit

The Metro Pacific Group saw earnings rise by a tenth last year despite delays in regulatory approval of its units’ pending rate adjustments.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) said its net income climbed 10 percent to P7.9 billion last year from P7.2 billion in 2013.

This as revenue rose by 10 percent to P33.8 billion from P30.9 billion over the same period.

"All our operating companies reported strong profitability for the year. This reflects our intense focus on operational efficiencies but at the cost of the years of high capital expenditures," Jose Ma. K. Lim, MPIC president and chief executive said.

Maynilad Water Services Inc contributed the biggest to MPIC’s profitability at P4.4 billion, followed by Manila Electric Company’s P3 billion. Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation delivered P2.2 billion, while the Hospital Group contributed P465 million.

"We anticipate continued strong volume growth in 2015 for all our subsidiaries in light of anticipated continuing economic growth," Lim said.

“In this face of this favorable prospect, a number of our businesses are facing overdue tariff adjustments - particularly our water and toll roads where if we left unresolved, continued capital expenditures on water projects and road construction would be degraded,” he said.

Maynilad last December won an arbitration case over the increase in its base rates, but state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has yet to clear the adjustment. Maynilad has since called on the government guarantee, a recourse provided in their concession agreement.

Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), which MPIC controls and operates the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), is also awaiting a toll increase.

Given these uncertainties, “we are at this time, unable to give earnings guidance for 2015,” Lim said.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of MPIC, said last year’s profitability is encouraging despite a difficult regulatory environment.

"Our outlook for 2015 is encouraging on account of continued strong volume growth. However, the overdue tariff increases on our roads, where we can't continue capital expenditures without regard to tariffs, together with the inexplicable delay of the MWSS in acting on the arbitration award for Maynilad, mean that is rather early for us to provide earnings guidance for 2015 at this time," Pangilinan said.

The company has set aside P58.2 billion for capital expenditures this year. It earlier raised $200 million from the sale of additional shares.

- Interaksyon is the online news portal of TV5, which Pangilinan also chairs.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Operator of SM malls grows 2014 profit by double-digits

The country’s largest mall developer and operator grew its profit in the low teens in 2014.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, SM Prime Holdings Inc said its net income rose 13 percent to P18.9 billion last year from P16.7 billion in 2013.

The double-digit growth stemmed from an 11 percent increase in revenue to P66.2 billion from P59.8 billion over the same period.

“The encouraging financial performance in 2014 reiterates that the transformation of SM Prime into a property conglomerate is bearing fruits and trending above management expectations,” SM Prime president Hans T. Sy said.
“We expect this performance to be surpassed this year as the company pursues its 2015 expansion plans with the opening of four new malls, the completion of FiveE-comCenter and the launch of five new housing projects. This is to complement the expansion of existing malls and on-going construction of high-rise residential development projects,” said Sy, one of the sons of the country’s richest man, Henry Sy Jr.

Over half of the company’s revenue came from retail and commercial space rentals, which increased 13 percent to P36.5 billion last year from P32.2 billion in 2013.

The company ascribed the increase in rental revenue to the introduction of new malls and the expansion of existing ones over the past two years, including SM Aura Premier in Taguig, SM City BF ParaƱaque, Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, SM City Cauayan in Isabela province and SM Center Angono in Rizal province. The new malls and expansion added 564,000 square meters to the company’s gross floor area.

Same-store rental revenue increased by 7 percent year-on-year.

SM Prime’s housing group, which accounted for a third of total revenue, grew by 7 percent to P22.2 billion last year from P20.8 billion in 2013. Reservation sales climbed to P35.9 billion in 2014 from P26.3 billion the year before, with most of the increase coming from Shore Residences and Air Residences in Pasay and Makati, respectively.

Cinema ticket sales chipped in P4.3 billion to SM Prime’s total revenue, and grew 14 percent from P3.7 billion in 2013. The company ascribed the increase to the opening of new digital cinemas and a spate of international and local blockbuster movies.

Excluding the new malls and expansion, same-store cinema ticket sales increase by 10 percent year-on-year.

Amusement and other revenue increased by 8 percent to P3.3 billion last year from P3 billion in 2013.

- Interaksyon

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ayala's IMI grows in the low teens amid demand for telecom chips in China

Profitability at the electronics manufacturing arm of the Ayala Group nearly tripled last year.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc (IMI) said it earned $29.1 million in 2014, or nearly a three-fold rise from the $10.5 million the previous year.

“The year 2014 was a banner year for IMI as we outperformed the EMS industry’s single-digit growth rate and our financial targets. Our global presence and market diversity took advantage of the recovery of the international markets and electronics segments,” said Arthur Tan, IMI president and CEO.

A leading global provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and power semiconductor assembly and test services, IMI has manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, and North America, and serves the automotive, industrial, medical, telecommunications infrastructure, storage device, and consumer electronics industries.

Revenue rose by 13 percent to $844.5 million from $745.0 million in 2013. The company’s China operations, which contributed more than a third to total revenue, climbed 18 percent year-on-year to $325.6 million, as telecom operators in the world’s second largest economy rolled out 4G to meet demand.

IMI’s operations in Europe and Mexico, which chipped in 32 percent, grew 14.4 percent year-on-year to $268.6 million amid demand in the automotive sector.

In the Philippines, revenue climbed 8.3 percent year-on-year to $204.9 million amid demand from the storage device and automotive sectrs. Subsidiary PSi Technologies Inc grew 4.3 percent to $44.9 million.

“IMI will continue on a profitable growth track as we continue to grab opportunities for high-value outsourcing in the telecommunications infrastructure, automotive, industrial, and medical electronics markets,” Tan said.

“IMI has been able to deliver on its long-term strategies and will continue to do so. We are a growth company playing in an industry that drives the global economy. The market for electronics is still underserved, and we have positioned ourselves in the right market segments,” he added.

IMI closed last year with $117.6 million in cash after a follow-on offering that raised $36 million and the sale of its Singapore property for $17.2 million.

- Interaksyon

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Philippine share prices pull back from records

The Philippine stock market retreated Tuesday on investor concerns over Greece.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, the benchmark index fell by 59.43 points or 0.76 percent to close at 7,723.14, dropping from its 10th record close of 7,782.57 yesterday.

Most of the counters were in the red, led by the 1.80 percent decline of the mining and oil sub-index. The industrials counter also gave up 1.33 percent; likewise property (0.96 percent), holding firms (0.90 percent), and financials (0.37 percent). The services sub-index was the lone gainer, adding 0.35 percent.

Decliners beat advancers, 101 to 86, while 48 issues were unchanged. Value turnover reached P17.64 billion, as 3.32 billion shares changed hands.

The most actively traded stocks were PLDT, Universal Robina, Metro Pacific, Bloomberry Resorts and BDO.

The top gainers were Island Information, Imperial Resources, Liberty Flour and Leisure Resorts, while the biggest losers were Euro-Med Laboratories, Bogo Medellin, United Paragon, DFNN and Oriental Petroleum.

"The 'ghost' of Greece continues to haunt and spook markets, dragging European markets lower overnight — the same track taken by US stocks," Jun Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities said.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95.08 points, or 0.53 percent, to 17,729.21, the S&P 500 dropped 8.73 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,046.74, and the Nasdaq Composite contracted by 18.39 points, or 0.39 percent, to 4,726.01.

"The concerns over Greece resurfaced following the election of the anti-austerity party -- replacing the leadership that negotiated the €240 billion bail-out previously -- and magnified recently by the hard-line and public stance taken by Germany for the country to honor the conditions tied to the bail-out," Calaycay said.

He said today’s decline is a welcome development for a market that has practically risen with little pause.

The PSEi has broken its record close 10 times this year, making it Asia's best performing. Before today's pullback, the local benchmark index had gained 7.6 percent.

- Interaksyon