AEV sets bigger capex of P48B for 2021
Conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) is bracing for recovery from the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting its war chest for business expansion this year to P48 billion.
Coming from a challenging 2020 when business continuity and cash conservation dominated the agenda of most companies, AEV president and chief executive Sabin Aboitiz shared a prudent yet optimistic outlook for both the company and the country. This year’s war chest is 65.5-percent larger than last year’s actual capital outlays of P29 billion.
“COVID-19 may have affected our short-term plans, but we remain committed to our businesses and to the same growth pathway and trajectory,” Aboitiz told shareholders in an annual meeting on Monday.
Amid the challenges posed by the pandemic, Aboitiz noted that the group’s power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure and property units were still finding ways to innovate and streamline operations even with reduced budgets.
“At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we embarked on an aggressive program to manage our cash flows, which included a group [capital expenditure] budget cut of about a third, [operating expenditure] budget revisions, and proactive customer and supplier management. So far, our business continuity plans are proving to be effective and our balance sheets are exhibiting resilience,” he added.
For 2021, AEV sees itself marching on the road to recovery, although Aboitiz added it could take some time for the economy to recover from the devastation caused by the pandemic.
—DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ
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