All hands on deck, as SMC gears up for rebuilding stronger economy from COVID-19 pandemic

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

San Miguel Corporation gears up for its planned integrated economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic by bankrolling on its several projects that would lead to employment opportunities, helping the poor, building resilience among vulnerable sectors, and increasing the nation’s capacity to test in order to save more lives.

During its Annual Stockholders’ Meeting done through video conferencing, SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang expressed optimism in the economy’s ability to recover strong, which would inevitably need for them to adapt to changes in the business environment.

“We are still dealing with a crisis today. Until there’s a cure for COVID-19, we cannot let our guard down. Nevertheless, we are determined to work smart and safe and do our part to help our economy, our country and people during this critical time,” Ang said.

“The best way we can do this is to continue, and not scale back, on investments in infrastructure and capacity expansion, as well as provide support for the poor, and other key sectors such as agriculture and the health industry,” the Presiden of SMC added.

New manufacturing facilities, infra projects continue

“All our major, important projects will continue. Before the pandemic, and even more so now, we believe these projects will be key to making more Filipinos resilient, by providing jobs and boosting local economies, which in turn, will provide livelihood opportunities,” Ang explained.

“With more manufacturing facilities in key regions that provide direct jobs and downstream employment, infrastructure that increases mobility and ease of trade, and sufficient and reliable access to power and fuel, we hope to help our economy through this crisis and boost our nation’s recovery,” he added.

Among the new facilities, the company is completing are 12 feed mills of one million annual tons capacity each, expanded poultry farms and a poultry processing facility; new breweries in Cagayan de Oro, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna, the new unit of Masinloc Power Plant, and ongoing infrastructure projects such as Skyway 3, Skyway Extension, Skyway 4, MRT-7, and TPLEX.

With its steady performance in 2019, SMC’s consolidated revenues reached P1.02 trillion, the same level with the previous year, reflecting sustained demand for its products and services despite setbacks suffered by its fuel subsidiary, Petron Corporation following global oversupply and volatile oil prices brought about by the trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

While the consolidated operating income reached P115.7 billion, slightly lower by 1% as the strong performance of the Beer, Spirits, and Power businesses, cushioned the slowdown in its Petron and Food businesses.

Reported consolidated net income of P48.6 billion was likewise at par, while EBITDA rose 3% from the previous year to P162.4 billion.

Help for poor communities, farmers, medical sector

Despite the pandemic, SMC did not falter to provide the support needed by various communities and even during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and beyond, SMC led private-sector efforts to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Filipinos, particularly disadvantaged communities, medical front liners, and the agricultural sector.

Not to blow its trumpet, San Miguel Corporation has doled out P13.112 billion as of June 25 in response to support COVID-19 victims and affected sectors.

SMC, also noted that the company was poised for a strong start in the first two months of 2020: For the months of January and February, the company booked revenues of P160.5 billion and consolidated EBITDA of P21.3 billion.

Following the quarantine, which also necessitated liquor bans and the stoppage of transportation, SMC’s first-quarter consolidated revenues slid 15% from the same period last year to P214 billion, while EBITDA ended 34% lower at P27 billion.

“Our major businesses are well-positioned to make recoveries, especially with the lifting of restrictions starting June. Since May, we have been seeing a recovery. We’ve lost no time in working to regain our position and doubling our efforts to serve consumers,” Ang said.

“In terms of operations, we were able to continue essential activities throughout the quarantine—we ensured food, power, fuel supply, and the continuous running of expressways. We were also able to launch new ways to make our products available in more channels. These will be part of our next normal,” Ang concluded.