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Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES
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Date posted: Friday, December 11, 2015 | Manila, Philippines

new entrants

Subsidiaries’ fortunes sweep parent firms into league table

FORTY-SEVEN COMPANIES have joined the Top 1000 Corporations for the first time since this report began in the mid-1990s.

The 47 new entrants took over a third of the 144 vacant slots left behind by dropouts. The newcomers hailed from 14 of the economy’s 18 sectors and generated a combined P161 billion, or 2% of the P9.27 trillion in gross revenue of this year’s Top 1000 Corporations.

Leading this year’s new entrants and coming in strong at 71st place is a solo entry from the arts, entertainment and recreation sector: Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. (BRHI). The operator of Solaire Resort & Casino posted gross revenue of P23.15 billion last year, double the P11.74 billion recorded in 2013.

Considering that all other new entrants for this year each generated less than P10 billion in revenue, BRHI’s strong showing indicates the warm welcome the gaming business has received from the public.

The government has been pushing the gaming business as a new dollar-earning leg of the tourism industry. Solaire Resort & Casino is the first of four licensees to set up shop at Entertainment City, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s gaming hub along Manila Bay. A second one operated by Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment opened its doors to the public early this year, while the remaining two will rise in less than five years.

In joining the Top 1000 Corporations, BRHI also swept its parent firm, Sureste Properties, Inc., and ultimate parent, Prime Metroline Holdings, Inc., into the league table.

Prime Metroline saw its revenue jump to P5.26 billion last year from P14.93 million in 2013, landing the company on 389th place.

Sureste, which garnered the 752nd spot, is the lone entry from the accommodation and food service subsector. Registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as developer of the Solaire hotel project, Sureste enjoys reduced tax rates and other incentives.

Manufacturers, which contributed the most to the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, comprised one of the big groups of new entrants to this year’s Top 1000 Corporations, generating under P10 billion in combined revenue last year.

Metrodragon Steel Corp. (545th) saw a 152% increase in gross revenue to P3.71 billion last year from P1.47 billion in 2013. Suncrest Food, Inc. -- maker of the Fudgee Barr, Cupp Keyk, Crossini, Mrs. Goodman and Chunkee Cookies -- grossed P1.95 billion, landing the company on the 912th slot.

First Philec Manufacturing Technologies Corp. (954th) grossed P1.79 billion. The company introduced switchgears and substations after it organized a central engineering design team to develop new product lines and adapt to the changing requirements of the electrical transmission and distribution industry.

Coco Davao, Inc., which is part of the Primex Group of Companies, has doubled its desiccated coconut projection to 26,000 a year, making the group the fastest growing in the world.

The company, which ranks 984th in this year’s Top 1000 Corporations, registered in 2014 with the Board of Investments as a non-pioneer producer of coconut water for export to the US. This helped increase revenue by 60% to P1.71 billion last year from P1.07 billion in 2013.

The real estate sector comprised another group of new entrants, as the industry was last year’s third largest contributor to GDP.

Vesta Property Holdings, Inc. reflected the real estate sector’s strength, as the company was the second biggest newcomer on gross revenue of P7.81 billion in 2014. This was 756% higher than the P912.53 million earned in 2013 by this subsidiary of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), landing the newcomer on the 271st spot.

Two companies jointly owned by ALI and Evergreen Holdings, Inc. -- BGNorth Properties, Inc. (557th) and BGWest Properties, Inc. (603rd) -- also joined the Top 1000 Corporations for the first time this year.

Each of the two new entrants built a condo tower at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

The contribution of the two new entrants allowed Evergreen, a holding company of the Campos family of United Laboratories, Inc. fame, to post P1.98 billion in revenue and enter the Top 1000 Corporations at 905th place.

Other real estate firms that have debuted in this year’s ranking are Suntrust Properties, Inc. (634th); Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Corp. (899th); and Posh Properties Development Corp. (943rd).

Suntrust is a wholly owned subsidiary of Megaworld Corp., and has created numerous self-sustaining residential communities in Cavite and has condominium development projects in Manila, providing affordable real estate projects.

A joint venture between Federal Land, Inc. and Japan’s ORIX Corp., Bonifacio Landmark operates the Grand Hyatt Manila Residences and the Grant Hyatt Hotel.

Last but not least in the property sector is Multi-Realty Development Corp. (437th), which saw a 548% increase in its revenue to P4.69 billion from P724.21 million the previous year, stemming largely from the sale of some of its shares in BDO Unibank, Inc.

The financial and insurance sector brought in the most number of new entrants this year, mostly comprising of holding companies. Besides Prime Metroline and Evergreen, these also include Blue Vulcan Holdings Corp. (419th); Metro Pacific Assets Holdings, Inc. (663rd); Emperador, Inc. (707th); Allfirst Equity Holdings, Inc. (814th), EDC Geothermal Corp. (891st); and Trofi Ventures Corp. (960th).

Blue Vulcan, whose revenue rose to P4.88 billion last year from P751.05 million in 2013, is the corporate vehicle that listed First Gen Corp. used in 2012 to buy out its British partner, BG Group, from their natural gas business. This business includes companies operating the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo natural gas plants.

Metro Pacific Assets Holdings, Inc., a multinational company that is 60% owned by Metro Pacific Resources, Inc., is an indirect subsidiary of Enterprise Investments Holdings, Inc. Metro Pacific Assets earned P2.86 billion last year, up from P2.73 billion in 2013.

An affiliate of SM Investment Corp., Allfirst Equity acquired 60% of Philippine Geothermal Production Co. in 2012 from Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings, LLC.

EDC Geothermal holds stakes in various geothermal power plants in southern Philippines, but still made it to this year’s ranking despite a 9% drop in revenue to P2 billion last year from P2.20 billion in 2013.

Trofi Ventures Corp. is the parent company of The Real American Doughnut Co., which in turn holds the Philippine franchise for Krispy Kreme. Trofi earned P1.78 billion in revenue in 2014.

Then there’s Atlantic Aurum Investments Philippines Corp. (496th), which acquired 87.8% of Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC), builder of two major infrastructure projects -- the Metro Manila Skyway and the Metro Manila Tollways or Circumferential Road 6. In 2014, Atlantic Aurum earned P4.13 billion in dividend income from CMMTC.

Last but not least is Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc. (876th), a mutual fund that invests in equities that form part of the Philippine Stock Exchange index.

Amid demand from China following India’s ore export ban, two Philippine nickel miners also were among those that joined the Top 1000 Corporations for the first time in 2014. Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. (731st) operates in the Diwata mountain range in Surigao del Sur, while Benguetcorp Nickel Mines, Inc. (890th) taps nickel reserves in Sta. Cruz, Zambales.

Two private contractors also joined the Top 1000 Corporations. Ranked 483rd, Private Infra Dev Corp., a 45% owned unit of San Miguel Corp. through Rapid Thoroughfares, Inc., began operating last year 63 kilometers (km) of the 88.85-km Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

MDC BuildPlus, Inc. (514th), caters to the construction needs of Avida Land Corp., Amaia Land Corp. and Bellavita Land Corp. -- all residential brands of Ayala Land, Inc.

Six wholesale and retail trade companies whose gross revenue ranged from P1.7 billion to P3.5 billion likewise joined the ranking for the first time: Berjaya Auto Philippines, Inc. (566th); Fast Retailing Philippines, Inc. (652nd); East-West Seed Co., Inc. (983rd); Acer Philippines, Inc. (985th); Montosco, Inc. (874th); and Herbalife International Philippines, Inc. (994th).

East-West Seed is engaged in developing, marketing, and selling high-quality vegetable seeds that are well adapted to local farming conditions, while Herbalife is the local unit of the US-based health products direct-seller.

Five new entrants come from the transport and storage sector. These are Zest Airways, Inc. (291st); Royal Cargo (660th); Vallacar Transit, Inc. (717th); Star Infrastructure Development Corp. (768th); and Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (978th).

Vallacar operates the Ceres bus line that runs to and from Bacolod City in Negros Occidental province, while Star Infrastructure is a unit of Top Frontier that was responsible for building the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road Project. Cavitex holds the concession rights for the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.

Four new entrants come from the energy sector, three of which are subsidiaries of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., namely SMC PowerGen, Inc. (360th); Albay Power and Energy Corp. (776th); and San Miguel Electric Corp. (922nd).

SMC PowerGen operates the 2-by-35-megawatt (MW) co-generation solid fuel-fired plant of Petron Corp., while Albay Power was created to take over the operations of debt-saddled Albay Electric Cooperative. San Miguel Electric holds a retail electricity supplier license, buying from related parties for sale to end-users.

The lone non-San Miguel power sector new entrant is Therma Mobile, Inc. (506th), which operates a 242-MW floating diesel plant in Navotas City. The company saw revenue grow from P387.86 million in 2013 to P4.01 billion last year.

Two new entrants come from the information and communications sector: Dimension Data Philippines, Inc. (871st); and Phil-Data Business Systems, Inc. (926th). Dimension Data provides information and communications technology services and cloud services, while Phil-Data Business distributes and provides technical support for APC, Avaya, Cisco, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Symantec.

Last but not least are the administrative and support services, education and health subsectors, each of which saw a company joining the P1.7-billion revenue league. These are AIG Shared Services - Business Processing, Inc. (646th); STI Education Services Group, Inc. (957th); and St. Luke’s Medical Center (Global City), Inc. (475th).

*Send e-mail to 'Taludz' at lopilar@bworldonline.com.

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