Ayala eyes return to pre-pandemic operations by 2023



Conglomerate Ayala Corp. expects its businesses to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, as the group pinned its hopes on the government’s vaccination program.

Newly-designated president and chief executive Fernando Zobel de Ayala said during the virtual annual stockholders’ meeting the group would focus on expanding and strengthening businesses while scaling up investments in the healthcare, energy and logistics sectors.

The conglomerate has investments in property, banking and telecommunication sectors.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the business environment and will continue to prepare for a post pandemic economic recovery. We are hoping for a successful implementation of the country’s vaccination program that would pave the way for a revival of the economy,” said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who replaced elder brother Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

“With a healthy balance sheet and a set of diversified and strong franchises in our portfolio, we are confident that we will come out of this difficult period stronger,” he said.

The conglomerate budgeted P196 billion for 2021 capital expenditures, the bulk of which will be used by unit Ayala Land Inc. to fund the construction of residential projects, and by Globe Telecoms Inc. to finance the rollout of its telecom infrastructure.

Zobel de Ayala said he aimed to optimize returns from businesses, adopt a disciplined approach in deploying capital and become proactive in recoiling capital to support growth and fund future investments.

Meanwhile, the conglomerate said its remained steadfast on its long-term outlook in Myanmar despite the political conflict in the Southeast Asian country.

“We look at Myanmar from a long-term perspective. We will work with our partners to make sure that our investments are prudently managed,” Ayala Corp. managing director Eric Francia said.

Ayala Corp. in 2019 invested $237.5 million in Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings controlled by Myanmar tycoon Serge Pun.

Ayala Corp. posted a net income of P17.1 billion in 2020, down 51 percent from 2019 as the pandemic affected the operations of core banking and real estate businesses.

The share of Ayala Corp. rose 1.25 percent Friday to close at P754.50. 

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