Aboitiz: Prospects remain upbeat

AMID security threats in the country and Martial Law proclamation in Mindanao, the Aboitiz Group has pledged for the continued roll-out of investments all over the country, while remaining bullish on the country’s healthy economic growth story.

In a briefing yesterday, AboitizPower Distribution chief operations officer (COO) Jaime Jose Aboitiz said the group is committed to pursue its series of projects in the country ranging from power distribution, generation and retail electricity; financial services; food manufacturing; real estate; and infrastructure.

“Yes, we will continue our investments,” said Aboitiz, when asked about the Martial Law in Mindanao and the possibility of expanding the declaration to the Visayas.

For instance, Aboitiz said that the power generation company, AboitizPower, is on track of achieving the 4,000-megawatt (MW) total generating capacity by 2020.

‘Less vibrant’

He, however, described the first six months of 2017 as generally less vibrant than last year.

Aboitiz said the 2016 national elections and the hot weather were two of the key factors that boosted demand for electricity last year.

Aboitiz sees revenues of its power unit to grow at an average of three to four percent this year which will continue in 2018.

On the other hand, the Visayan Electric Company (Veco), the firm’s power distribution arm in Cebu, reported similar performance, said Veco COO Anton Perdices.
“The first half was not as good as last year,” he said, citing the lesser hot days this year and the absence of big-ticket events.

Veco said peak demand for this year stood at 507 MW, versus last year’s 524 MW.

Meanwhile, Aboitiz Construction, formerly known as Metaphil Inc., anticipates massive infrastructure push in the next few years to support the business, said its president and COO Alberto A. Ignacio Jr.

Although the company primarily caters to private-led construction projects, supporting AboitizLand as well as manufacturing facility and powerplant projects, Ignacio said they are eyeing to participate on the Cebu-Cordova bridge construction through the private players primarily involved in the project.

As for the company’s real estate business, AboitizLand president and CEO Andoni Aboitiz boasted of strong sales performance in the first five months of the year.

‘Execution year’

“The second half (of 2017) will be dominated by launches. 2017 is AboitizLand’s execution year,” said the executive, adding that expansions would be focused in Luzon and in Cebu.

Meanwhile, CitySavings, one of the Aboitiz-led banks, also anticipates an increase of teacher clients this year on the back of the K+12 education system. Teachers are bank’s prime market.

As of Dec. 2016, the family’s holding firm Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) posted an average revenue growth of 8.28 percent in the last five years. AEV also has investments in biogas, insurance, aviation and bulk-water.
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