By Angel Ayala and Joey Natividad
LEGAZPI CITY, 19Aug2015 (BicolToday.com) — Ayala Corporation’s net income rose 6 percent to ₱10.4 billion in the first half of the year driven by the double-digit growth in its telecom, real estate, banking, and electronics businesses, and boosted by the positive performance of its power generation unit.
Excluding the previous year’s divestment gains from the sale of Stream Global Services, Ayala’s business process outsourcing unit, Ayala’s net income in the first semester grew 31 percent.
Ayala’s solid performance in the first half of the year was a result of strong equity earnings contribution from its business units, which reached ₱13.2 billion, up 2 percent from a year ago.
Without the divestment gains, equity earnings expanded 20 percent in the first half of the year.
The strong double-digit growth in the equity earnings of Globe Telecom, Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Integrated Microelectronics combined with the positive contribution from AC Energy Holdings drove Ayala’s equity earnings during the period.
“Our earnings continue to grow at a strong pace in step with the overall performance of our business units. As demand drivers remain upbeat, and as our investments in power come onstream, we believe this strong growth will continue throughout the year,” Ayala president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.
“In addition, as our core businesses grow, we continue to seek new areas to invest in. We are developing new platforms in the healthcare and education spaces. We believe these two sectors present excellent opportunities for growth and scale,” Mr. Zobel added.
Ayala Land’s net income expanded 19 percent to ₱8.4 billion, lifted by the upbeat performance of its property development and commercial leasing operations.
In property development, residential revenues grew 11 percent on new bookings and project completion while office sales expanded nearly twofold on the back of new launches from its upscale brand Alveo.
In commercial leasing, shopping center revenues went up 9 percent owing to higher occupancy and average rentals, while office leasing revenues expanded 16 percent due to the contribution of newly opened offices and the stronger performance of its existing offices.
Revenues from hotels and resorts improved by 8 percent on higher occupancy.
Ayala Land launched 21 residential projects, the Ayala Triangle Gardens mixed-use development and other leasing projects worth ₱81 billion in the first semester.
In addition, Ayala Land and Puregold Price Club recently opened its first supermarket venture named “Merkado” in UP Town Center.
As its core banking business continued to drive growth, net earnings of the Bank of the Philippine Islands expanded 16 percent to ₱9.3 billion.
Total revenues improved 12 percent to ₱29 billion on higher net interest income and non-interest income.
Net interest income grew 12 percent to ₱19 billion owing to a 15 percent-expansion in average assets.
Non-interest income was up 12 percent to ₱10 billion as a result of higher income from securities trading, fees and commissions, and insurance business.
The bank’s operating expenses grew 7.6 percent year-on-year resulting in a cost-to-income ratio of 51.9 percent.
The bank’s total assets stood at ₱1.4 trillion at the end of the first half, a 9.7 percent-increase from the previous year.
Deposit level increased 12 percent to P1.2 trillion while total loan portfolio grew 9 percent year-on-year.
Asset quality remains strong, with a gross 90-day non-performing loan ratio of 1.77 percent, lower than last year’s 1.85 percent.
Loan loss cover was maintained at 108 percent.
Consolidated CET 1 Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was 14.3 percent while total CAR was 15.2 percent in the first semester.
Globe Telecom registered a net income of ₱8.7 billion, up 27 percent year-on-year, bolstered by increased demand for data connectivity across the mobile, fixed line, and broadband segments.
Service revenues rose 13 percent to ₱53.8 billion with the highest growth coming from mobile browsing and other data revenues, jumping 53 percent to ₱9.5 billion.
Broadband revenues expanded 30 percent to ₱7.6 billion, while fixed line data revenues surged 20 percent to ₱3.1 billion.
Combined, all these comprise 38 percent of Globe’s total revenues during the period.
Globe’s mobile and fixed line voice likewise improved, growing 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Its mobile subscriber base reached 48.4 million, 13 percent higher year-on-year.
Similarly, Globe’s broadband subscriber base grew 55 percent to 3.5 million in the first semester of the year.
The solid revenue growth balanced out the higher subscriber and network-driven costs, with earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) expanding 19 percent to ₱22.7 billion.
Following the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission, Globe converted $115 million of debt in Bayan Telecommunications into equity, effectively securing control of Bayantel.
Subsequently, Globe acquired the stake held by the Lopez group in Bayantel, hiking up its stake in the company to over 98 percent.
Manila Water’s net income dipped 4 percent from a year ago to ₱3 billion owing to higher operating expenses primarily from catch-up rental costs incurred by the East Zone concession during the period.
This resulted in a 5 percent decline in the net profits of the East Zone concession to ₱2.6 billion despite a 2 percent-growth in billed volume.
Excluding the extraordinary rental expense, Manila Water’s net income ended flat for the first semester.
Total billed volume grew 2 percent to 340 million cubic meters supported by billed volume growth outside the East Zone.
Billed volume from Laguna Water surged 26 percent; Clark Water expanded 19 percent, while Boracay Water and Kenh Dong Water in Vietnam posted single-digit growth rates.
Meanwhile, Cebu Manila Water Development started operations in January this year.
Manila Water continues to develop its footprint outside the East Zone concession.
It expanded its Laguna Water operations to cover the entire province of Laguna with the addition of used water services in the concession.
Moreover, Manila Water was awarded a 15-year bulk water supply contract by the Tagum City Water District.
Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. recorded a net income of $15.2 million, 35 percent higher from the previous year as operational improvements, continued focus on higher-margin products, and cost saving measures increased profitability.
Revenues slightly declined by 3 percent to $416.3 million on the back of a weakness in the euro coupled with a slowdown in demand in the computing sector.
Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, revenues rose 2.4 percent during the period.
Power Generation and Transport Infrastructure
As its power generating assets come online, AC Energy Holdings Inc. registered a net income in the first half of the year of ₱198 million.
This was driven by the contributions from its two wind farms, North Luzon Renewable Energy Corporation and NorthWind both in Ilocos Norte; and two coal plants, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation in Batangas, and GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant in Bataan.
AC Energy has assembled over 700 megawatts of attributable generating capacity across various assets.
It continues to work on a pipeline of power projects to meet its goal of building around 1,000 MW in generating capacity over the next few years.
Over the past three years, Ayala has committed over US$700 million in equity in developing various power generating projects.
In transport infrastructure, Ayala formally opened the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) on July 24, 2015.
Ayala is the concessionaire of MCX, a 4-kilometer tollroad connecting the Daang Hari Road with the South Luzon Expressway.
AF Payments Inc., a joint venture between the Ayala and First Pacific groups, has begun its roll out of the automated fare collection system through the Beep contactless cards.
Implementation has started in LRT line 2, and is expected to be completed across all LRT and MRT lines within the next few months.
Ayala maintains a healthy balance sheet.
As of June 30, 2015, parent company cash reached ₱38 billion, putting its net debt to equity ratio at 0.23 to 1 at the parent level, and 0.81 to 1 at the consolidated level. [BicolToday.com]