Ayala Corp. expects economy bouncing back in mid-2023
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. is already positioning itself in the country’s postpandemic recovery, which it expects to happen by mid-2023, by scaling up its involvement in increasingly relevant areas like health care, logistics and renewable energy, while continuing to nurture its existing crown jewels.
During the company’s stockholders meeting on Friday, Ayala chair Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the country’s story in battling COVID-19 would not be complete if people focused merely on the devastation.
“While the pandemic exposed inadequacies in our health-care system, it also showcased the sublime courage, skill and resourcefulness of our front-liners,” Zobel said.
He said traffic might have subsided and people were no longer going to malls to meet up with friends, but on the other hand, technology and digital infrastructure improved dialogue and cut travel times. “And, for many, working from home restored connections with families we had previously seen less often than our workmates.”
While the pandemic has led to the worst local recession in history, similar to other parts of the world, it also showcased the best of the country’s “bayanihan” spirit, he added.
In the case of the Ayala group, Zobel said the country’s oldest conglomerate had weathered the economic challenges well, making decisive and balanced trade-offs between short-term pivots and long-term sustainability, and continuing to be a “force for growth and a force for good” for stakeholders. Important foundation
He reaffirmed that capital outlays this year would reach P196 billion, larger than last year’s P152 billion.
He said a balanced portfolio and years of risk-resilient financial discipline served as an important foundation for the business pivot.
The conglomerate’s new CEO, Fernando Zobel de Ayala, said that the group would put greater emphasis on its portfolio strategy, with a sharper focus on optimizing returns from existing businesses.
“We will fully support the continued expansion of our core value drivers Ayala Land, BPI, Globe and AC Energy and scale up our emerging businesses in health care and logistics. In addition, we will be more proactive in recycling capital across the group to support our growth strategy and strengthen our balance sheet further,” he added.
—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla INQ
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