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Aboitiz Group sustains growth trajectory, momentum bolstered by new partnership

Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.

Modernization of operations, balanced portfolio eyed in nine years

The Aboitiz Group sustained its trajectory growth on the back of positive performance posted by its strategic business units for the first three quarters of 2021. The company hopes to sustain this momentum for the rest of the year and on to 2022.

This outlook comes as the country continues to see improvements in its COVID-19 situation. For its part, the Group announced that almost 90% of its team members ー the lifeblood of the company ー have been fully vaccinated in line with the government’s efforts to achieve herd immunity.

Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz said this upward momentum is greatly bolstered by its partnership with JERA, Japan’s largest power generation company, which marked a significant milestone in the company’s century-old history.

JERA is acquiring a total of 27% stake in Aboitiz Power Corp. (AboitizPower) from holding company Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (approximately 25.01%) and non-listed parent firm Aboitiz & Company (1.99%). As a majority shareholder, AEV still has control of AboitizPower’s business operations, complemented by JERA’s expertise.

Aboitiz said this move puts the company at the cusp of a new phase ー its continuous transformation and evolution that involves “profound modernization of operations, not only in power, but all its businesses.”

The plan, Aboitiz disclosed, is to achieve a balanced business portfolio, where half of its beneficial Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation (EBITDA) will come from its non-power businesses and grow its overseas activity to at about 10%. To date, almost 70% of the Group’s business comes from the power business unit while the rest are from banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land.

For AboitizPower, the goal is to achieve a 50:50 thermal-to-renewable power portfolio by 2030. Currently, its energy mix is roughly 70:30 thermal to renewable energy.

“We are more confident than ever that the plan is on track, and 2030 will be the year where all of you may see a new Aboitiz – an Aboitiz our founding fathers never could have imagined,” Aboitiz shared, noting that innovation, technology, and digitalization, will be key factors in the transformation.

Strategic Business Units

The Group’s Strategic Business Units (SBUs), which kept the businesses running throughout the pandemic, are exhibiting optimistic prospects in their respective growth plans.

Power

AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said that the power business unit is on track towards its 2030 goal which is to increase its Cleanergy portfolio to 4,600 MW, resulting in a 50:50 balance between its renewable and thermal capacities.

While pursuing the growth of renewable energy sources, the company will continue to strengthen and improve the performance of its existing fleet. As an industry leader, AboitizPower aims to balance the reliability, cost-efficiency, and sustainability of the Philippine energy system.

The availability of AboitizPower’s thermal plants in Visayas and Mindanao has seen improvements in the last two years. Compared to 2019, Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) and Therma South, Inc. (TSI) increased their availability by 5% and 23%, respectively. The increased availability has been driven by the reduction of unplanned outages, with TSI recovering from its long outage in 2019 and 2020, as well as both plants implementing efficiency initiatives such as shutdown management and robust preventive maintenance measures.

Moreover, the company’s safety performance continues on an improvement trend over the past six years. The Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) for AboitizPower, meaning the number of fatalities, lost time injuries, substitute work, and other injuries requiring treatment by a medical professional per million hours worked, stands at 0.5 as of Oct 31 or half the TRIR of 2017. This is better and well below the global industry average of 0.92 set by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.

Banking and Financial Services

Meanwhile, banking and financial services unit Union Bank of the Philippines continues to be Asia’s digital trailblazer, now being the first local, privately-owned and listed universal bank in the country to be granted a digital bank license by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in UnionDigital.

The launch of UnionDigital furthers the Bank’s digital transformation mandate and “Tech Up Pilipinas,” the movement UnionBank began to enable and empower Filipinos through smart banking and innovation.

UnionBank President & CEO Edwin Bautista said that UnionDigital is specifically geared towards serving and supporting the unbanked and underserved, and thus, is a vehicle to achieve inclusive prosperity.

Food

Food subsidiary Pilmico, which saw gains in its farms business due to higher selling prices of pork due to supply shortage, is optimistic that the completion of its third breeder farm in Nueva Ecija will help ease out this shortage in the market.

The farm, which has a capacity of 2,500 sow level, is expected to be completed by June 2022. Pilmico is positive that with its improved biosecurity protocol and methodology, it will be able to expand its capacity amidst the remaining threat of African Swine Fever in the country.

Infrastructure

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. is leveraging its common towers business unit Unity Digital Infrastructure, Inc. (Unity) to bring in more revenues next year with the planned roll out of 1,000 operating sites by 2022. This supports the government’s target of 50,000-strong common tower network rollout by 2030.

Unity has completed four sites ahead of schedule. The company is engaging with at least 150 vendors and contractors for tower construction, which can help generate jobs and spur economic activities locally.

AIC expects to further improve its bottomline with the launch of operations of its bulk water supply project with Davao City Water District through Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. next year. It also remains bullish on the performance of its Integrated Economic Centers as it continues to grow LIMA Estate in Batangas and West Cebu Industrial Park in Cebu.

Land

Following a strong performance trajectory in the past two years amid the pandemic, AboitizLand, Inc. is positive that it will exceed its year end target by 10% at PHP4.2 billion, by far, its strongest performance in history. It also posted a 665% increase in net income contribution vis-a-vis the same period in 2020.

The company attributes the optimistic target to: shift in preferences, favoring horizontal developments; shift to online school, work-from-home, even online business which gave appeal to less congested next-wave cities outside of the metro; infrastructure boom paving mobility and connectivity in these cities; AboitizLand’s strategic location and developments that are addressing these need; its agile approach to sales and marketing; and digitizing its customer journey with contactless end-to-end home buying service.

AEV is one of the three Filipino companies that made it to Forbes’ 2021 ‘World’s Best Employers’ list. The list includes 750 companies that were scored the highest in terms of image, economic footprint, talent development, gender equality, and social responsibility.


About Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land. Today, AEV is recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and in the region, consistently cited for its commitment to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. With five generations of Aboitiz Group business success behind it, AEV continues to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities.

To date, the Aboitiz Group’s total contribution to the national COVID-19 response effort has reached over P2.2 billion (excluding various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help customers cope with the impact of COVID-19), underscoring the group’s sustained campaign to help address the urgent needs of frontliners and affected communities nationwide.