Thursday, 30 July 2009

Philippines' DMCI expects to double profits this year

KRISTINE JANE R. LIU, Reporter
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/BW073009/content.php?id=041

CONSUNJI-LED DMCI Holdings, Inc. expects to book higher profits this year, countering analysts’ earlier negative outlook for most businesses as a result of the global economic meltdown.

At the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting, DMCI President Isidro A. Consunji said income of the holding company is estimated to reach around P4 billion this year, double than what it posted last year.

This, he said, will be brought about by the better contribution coming from its units, among which include Maynilad Water Services, Inc., Semirara Mining Corp., construction company D.M. Consunji, Inc., DMCI Homes, Inc. and steel fabrication unit Atlantic Gulf & Pacific (AG&P) Co. of Manila, Inc.

Mr. Consunji said Maynilad, for instance, is expected to contribute P1.6 billion to the company, higher than the P30 million it got last year.

Meanwhile, Semirara is seen to increase its net income by a quarter to P1 billion because of the increase in production.

"We project more than a billion pesos this year for Semirara because of more high coal production. Last year, we bought $43 million worth of equipment so its fruits is starting [to kick in already]," Mr. Consunji said.

"The higher volume will offset the lower prices of coal," he added.

Mr. Consunji said Semirara’s sales volume is expected to grow by 5% to four million metric tons of coal this year, of which 1.5 million to 1.8 million metric tons will be exported.

He added that the company has already started to export coal in Thailand, and is doing a trial shipment in Japan and Taiwan.

Plans to sell AG&P, meanwhile, has been temporarily shelved after the first attempt to unload the company’s stake failed last year.

Mr. Consunji said although there are still plans to sell it in the future, the company intends to make AG&P profitable first to attract better offers. "We are actively participating in the business. We already own 98% of the company unlike before when we just hold a 40% stake," he said.

AG&P is expected to contribute P300 million to DMCI’s profits this year having been released recently from its seven-year-long corporate rehabilitation.

DMCI is a holding company engaged in various business. Recently, the company was declared the highest bidder to the 600-megawatt (MW) Calaca power plant and has also bagged the P8-billion contract to extend the Metro Manila Skyway to Alabang, Muntinlupa from Bicutan in Taguig

Mr. Consunji said they are currently not keen on looking for a partner to run Calaca and was supposed to bid with San Miguel Corp. but the latter backed out although he said the conglomerate has indicated its interest to hold an equity position.

Shares in the company yesterday closed 1.36% higher or 0.10 centavos to P7.40.

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