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Market leaders keep optimism

AJ Bajo

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Major conglomerates San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and the Lucio Tan group will not let the coronavirus stand in the way of their business plans this year with SMC saying it will pursue the building of the Bulacan airport despite lethargic air travel and tourism.

Both indicated guarded optimism of an early recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

SMC said the construction of new manufacturing facilities in various regions nationwide as well as major infrastructure such as expressways and railways will keep going.

Some of the new facilities SMC is completing are 12 feed mills which have one million annual tons of capacity each, expanded poultry farms and poultry processing facility; new breweries in Cagayan de Oro and Sta. Rosa, Laguna; the new unit of Masinloc Power Plant and ongoing infra projects Skyway 3, Skyway Extension, Skyway 4, MRT-7 and TPLEX.

“All our major, important projects will continue. Before the pandemic, and even more so now, we believe these projects will be key to making more Filipinos resilient, by providing jobs and boosting local economies, which in turn, will provide livelihood opportunities,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.

More infra

“With more manufacturing facilities in key regions that provide direct jobs and downstream employment, infrastructure that increases mobility and ease of trade and sufficient and reliable access to power and fuel, we hope to help our economy through this crisis and boost our nation’s recovery,” he added.

Ang said SMC’s major businesses are well-positioned for recoveries especially amid the lifting of quarantine restrictions in June.

“Since May, we have been seeing a recovery. We’ve lost no time in working to regain our position and doubling our efforts to serve consumers. In terms of operations, we were able to continue essential activities throughout the quarantine — we ensured food, power, fuel supply, and the continuous running of expressways. We were also able to launch new ways to make our products available in more channels. These will be part of our next normal,” he said.

Buffer profit

LTG bared a cautious outlook but it said its strong results in 2019 will cushion the effects of the quarantine period imposed to contain the outbreak.

LTG president Michael Tan, during the company’s annual stockholder’s meeting on Tuesday, said the company hopes to weather the effects of the lockdown.

LTG saw record-high attributable net income of P23.12 billion in 2019, a surge of 43 percent from P16.19 billion in 2018. For the first quarter, LTG’s attributable net income came in 41 percent higher, to P6.21 billion from P4.42 billion in the same stretch last year.

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