3 PH firms land in new Forbes Asia’s ‘Best Under A Billion’ list

Eagle Cement Corp. reports P1.59B net profit in Q1 2019

Three Philippine companies landed in the Forbes Asia’s Best Under A Billion list 2022, including those led by billionaire Ramon Ang and veteran stockbroker Edward Lee.

Among the 200 companies recognized across the region were Ang’s Eagle Cement Corp., Lee’s COL Financial Group Inc. and Crown Asia Chemicals Corp., led by chair and president Walter Villanueva.

The new Forbes list compiled top-performing publicly listed small and midsized companies in the Asia-Pacific region with sales under $1 billion.

Eagle Cement, led by John Paul Ang, was the largest of three, with sales reaching $434 million last year, according to Forbes.

Led by CEO Conrado Bate, COL Financial is the country’s biggest online stock brokerage house. It had sales of $27 million last year.

Founded in 1989, Crown Asia Chemicals manufactures plastic and synthetic resin products such as compounds, pipes and roofing. It had sales of $35 million last year.

According to Forbes, the list was “meant to identify companies with long-term sustainable performance across a variety of metrics.”

“Aside from quantitative criteria, qualitative screens were used as well, such as excluding companies with serious governance issues, questionable accounting, environmental concerns, management issues or legal troubles,” Forbes said.

Of the 200 companies, it added that 75 had returned from the prior year.

“Notably, Taiwan’s Aspeed Technology has made Best Under A Billion for nine consecutive years,” Forbes said.

Among the highlighted companies was Gift Holdings, a Japanese ramen chain.

“The ramen restaurant company saw sales jump 22 percent to $124 million as pandemic restrictions lifted in Japan, bringing customers to its tables again,” Forbes said.

It also cited South Korean multination and record label group, JYP Entertainment.

“Founded in 1997, the company is behind some of the most popular K-pop artists, such as Rain, Wonder Girls and TWICE,” Forbes said. The company earned $169 million in sales last year.