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

top 100

Same dog, different collar at the top rung

WHEN WE first came out in 2005 with a separate table showing the ranking of companies on a consolidated basis, the original objective was to paint a picture of the financial position of parent firms and their subsidiaries and affiliates.

A decade hence, the list of conglomerates that have occupied the top rung has changed little, with that small change in the form of companies trading places but within striking distance of each other.

As in the past, we have collected companies’ consolidated statements and ranked each based on their gross revenue -- defined as net sales plus non-operating income -- as well as net sales and net income.

Last year’s top five held their ground, as they re-entered this edition’s elite circle: Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc. is now in first place, followed by San Miguel Corp., Petron Corp., SM Investments Corp., and Manila Electric Co (Meralco).

Three of the five -- San Miguel, Meralco and Petron -- were also included in the magic circle during the maiden release of the Top 100 Corporations table. TI (Philippines) Inc., which ranked third in 2005 -- is on the 11th place in this year’s list, while state-owned National Power Corp. has fallen to 156th place after a series of asset disposals that was mandated by law starting 2001.

Joining San Miguel, Meralco and Petron to lead this year’s Top 100 is Top Frontier Investments Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries, which jumped four places from last year on gross revenue of P797 billion, or a more than threefold increase in 2014.

Top Frontier’s leap to the top partly owes to subsidiary San Miguel, which happens to be the second on the Top 100 list. Early in 2014, San Miguel unloaded nearly all of its interest in Top Frontier, which in turn became the controlling shareholder of the former.

Top Frontier in January last year listed at the Philippine stock market by way of introduction. The company also owns 100% of Clariden Holdings, Inc., a holding company with interests in mining exploration and development.

San Miguel renounced its stronghold in the apex to secure the second spot as the company narrowly missed the top, but still made a hefty P794 billion in gross revenue. One of the country’s most diversified conglomerates, San Miguel started as a food and beverage company, but in recent years, has ventured into heavier industries such as infrastructure, power generation, property, banking, telecommunications, cement, oil refinery, and airlines until last year’s sale of Philippine Airlines back to the group of businessman Lucio C. Tan.

The largest chunk of San Miguel’s revenue came from Petron, which in turn placed third in the Top 100, after gross revenue grew 4% to P486 billion despite falling fuel prices. Accounting for nearly 40% of the country’s fuel requirements, Petron remains the biggest oil retailer with a station count of 2,200 or 30% of the industry.

Part of Petron’s growth also owed to its acquisition of the Malaysian operations of ExxonMobil. Petron has since added 10 new stations to the 550 that ExxonMobil put in place.

Joining the magic five this year is Henry Sy-led SM Investments Corp., which landed on the fourth spot of the Top 100 on gross revenue of P282 billion. Its retail business contributed 73% of the SM Group’s total revenue and 21% of consolidated profit.

Meralco occupied the fifth spot in the Top 100, as the utility company reported P268 billion in gross revenue last year, down by 11% from the previous year because of lower power charges.

As in last year, Top Frontier/San Miguel subsidiaries counted among those that made it to the Top 1000. The mainstays are: San Miguel Pure Foods Co., Inc. (No. 20), San Miguel Foods, Inc. (No. 26), SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (No. 35), San Miguel Brewery, Inc. (No. 37), South Premiere Power Corp. (No. 59) and San Miguel Energy Corp. (No. 72).

The country’s other top conglomerates are also well-represented in the Top 100 list. The group of Metro Pacific Investment Corp. is on the 53rd spot with P45.9 billion in revenue, up by 10% year-on-year.

The company’s main businesses delivered positive growth in core net income in 2014. Meralco and Maynilad posted increased in income due to higher volumes sold, while tollway business, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., also saw robust earnings in 2014 due to the rising traffic at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and an increase in the company’s shareholding in Manila North Tollways Corp., which operates the NLEx.

Conglomerates that also joined the Top 100 are Ayala Corp. (No. 8), its affiliates Globe Telecom, Inc. (No. 18) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (No. 39), and subsidiary Ayala Land, Inc. (No. 25).

Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, Inc. jumped two slots and landed on the 7th spot this year with its subsidiaries Universal Robina Corp. (No. 28) and Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (No. 36) also returning this year to the Top 100.

Well known business magnates’ conglomerates are also included in the Top 100: George Ty’s GT Capital Holdings, Inc. (No. 10), Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc. (No. 12), Oscar Lopez’ Lopez Holdings Corp. (No. 15), Lucio Tan’s LT Group, Inc. (No. 44), and Andrew Gotianun’s Filinvest Development Corp. (No. 61).

A new entrant to the list is PTT Philippines Corp. with P34 billion in gross revenue and landed on the 70th spot. The Thai oil and gas company made it to the list despite weaker fuel prices.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. was on sixth place and leads the stand-alone companies that made it to the list. Chipmaker TI (Philippines), Inc. slid a notch to the 11th spot. Nestlé Philippines, Inc. dropped to the 14th spot with P113.5 billion, while retailer Mercury Drug Corp. was on the 19th spot with P104 billion.

*Send e-mail Ranier at rrreusora@bworldonline.com or follow him on Twitter.com @rrreusora.

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