By JAMES A. LOYOLA
JG Summit Holdings Inc., the flagship of the Gokongweis, has invested US$138.83 million (₱7.06 billion) to increase its stake in PLDT Inc. to 11.23 percent from 7.96 percent.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, JG Summit said has acquired 7.05 million common shares, equivalent to 3.26 percent of PLDT’s outstanding capital, at a price of US$19.70 per share through the purchase and conversion of 7.05 million American Depository Receipts of PLDT.
“JGS considers this transaction as a valuable investment since PLDT, Inc. has historically paid good dividends,” the firm said.
JG Summit posted a strong recovery in the first nine months of 2019 with consolidated net income surging 52 percent to ₱22.5 billion from the same period last year (SPLY).
The firm said year-to-date profit is already 16 percent ahead of its full-year earnings of ₱19.2 billion in 2018.
In addition, JG Summit’s bottomline grew faster than the 11 percent year-on-year (YoY) increase in consolidated revenues, which amounted to ₱239.6 billion in the first nine months of the year.
Meanwhile, core net income after tax, which excludes the impact of forex and mark-to- market adjustments, rose 11 percent YoY to ₱19.7 billion in the first nine months of 2019, sustaining the double-digit-growth seen in the first half of the year.
During the third quarter, JG Summit experienced an acceleration in the group’s revenue growth resulting in ₱81.2 billion, up 12 percent YoY.
This happened on the back of Robinsons Land Corporation’s incremental revenues from the completion of its China phase 1 project, coupled with solid performances across most divisions; CEB’s robust passenger volumes, as well as higher average fares and ancilliary revenues; and Robinsons Bank’s net interest margin expansion and trading gains.
In addition, CEB’s lower cost per available seat-kilometer (CASK), and JG Summit Petrochemicals Group’s (JG Petrochem) improving margins quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), largely offset the higher depreciation and interest expenses at RLC, as well as the reinvestments in URC.
“We are happy to report another solid quarter and the business continue to post strong topline and profit growth for the year,” JG Summit President & CEO Lance Gokongwei said.
He noted that, “growth was mainly driven by our core businesses in food, real-estate and airlines while challenges still remain in some of our business units like Petrochemicals. Overall, the diversity of our portfolio including our minority investments has resulted in the group’s increase in earnings.”