Ayala energy firm’s 2019 net earnings soar to ₱25 billion

Published March 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

The net earnings of the energy investment arm of the Ayala group had soared to ₱25 billion last year, springing a long way up from ₱4.1 billion in 2018.

The exceptional profitability of AC Energy last year had been attributed to its capacity expansion – both in the Philippines and offshore markets, which in turn had buoyed its energy sales; plus the capital raising it had undertaken last year.

“AC Energy reported significant growth in 2019, with net earnings reaching ₱25 billion,” the Ayala firm said, emphasizing that “this was lifted by the contribution of its newly operational solar power projects in Vietnam.”

Further, the company said it logged “recovery of costs incurred from adjustments in the construction and operation of its power plants,” as well as gains from the partial divestment of its thermal assets.

AC Energy announced in September 2018 the sell-down of its thermal generating assets, and that fetched proceeds of US$579 million. The transaction was fully closed first half of last year.

The company likewise tapped the capital markets twice last year – via the issuance of green bonds which brought in US$810 million fresh capital into its portfolio.

“The first issuance, which happened in January-February 2019, was the power company’s maiden green bonds and fetched a total amount of US$410 million,” the Ayala firm has specified.

The second issue raised another US$400 million, and was considered the first publicly syndicated climate bond initiative-certified US-dollar green bonds in Southeast Asia.

The company’s attributable capacity concluded at more than 1,800 megawatts in 2019 – and on the sphere of energy generation, 50-percent of output had been from renewable energy capacity.

Major contributors to the firm’s 25-percent hike in energy generation last year that reached 3,500-gigawatt hours are its power assets in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

AC Energy President and CEO Eric T. Francia said the company is very much on track toward shifting its investment paradigm into renewable energy, with him emphasizing that the company “has developed a pipeline of more than 1,000MW in various renewable projects in the Philippines and overseas.”

Such ventures, he said, “are expected to reach financial close within 2020,” adding that “this is in line with the company’s goal of achieving 5,000MW of renewables capacity by 2025.”

Onward, the Ayala energy said it will be scaling up RE investments in the region, not just in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam but also in Myanmar, Australia and India being the key target markets.

Francia said the expansion goals will be underpinned by the continuing growth on electricity demand “on the back of a robust economy across the region, as well as improvements in renewable energy cost and efficiency.”