MacroAsia pivots from inflight catering to ‘virtual kitchens’
Billionaire Lucio Tan’s aviation services company MacroAsia Corp. saw core businesses change course to survive the pandemic as losses in the first semester of the year widened by 22 percent to P632.55 million. MacroAsia said in its latest quarterly report that its in-flight catering segment expanded into virtual or ghost kitchens, targeting food brands and institutional clients.
Virtual kitchens are optimized for deliveries, helping restaurants and large companies serve clients while cutting operating costs.
MacroAsia had started to secure major customers at the end of the second quarter while “revenue streams are expected to flow starting the second half of 2021.” The pivot came as catering revenues fell 65 percent to P252.733 million during the first six months of the year.
The drag on the aviation sector came as air travel demand collapsed amid the global health crisis.
MacroAsia’s overall revenues hit P875.91 million, down 45 percent. Similarly, revenues from ground handling and aviation services declined to P504.63 million. To offset the slowdown in the Philippines, MacroAsia Airport Services Corp. said it was expanding in the international flight handling market.
It took over the ground handling operations of Qatar Airways in Manila earlier this year and would expand its cargo handling business with more airline partners.
The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic remained the biggest risk to the company’s business, however, MacroAsia said it anticipated no cash flow and liquidity problems in the next 12 months.
“Business recovery of the aviation service units will follow the track of the airline and tourism industries that will benefit from the easing up of quarantine and travel restrictions in the country and elsewhere,” MacroAsia said.
Its water business, accounting for 11 percent of total revenues, also dropped 31 percent to P96.8 million during the first semester. MacroAsia said this was partly due to the downturn in tourism in Boracay island due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
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