Aboitiz Power pays ₱9-billion cash dividends

By Myrna M. Velasco – Updated April 29, 2020, 8:35 AM
from Manila Bulletin

Despite wading through challenges last year, listed Aboitiz Power Corporation had recompensed its shareholders with ₱9.0 billion cash dividend for 2019, which accounts for half of its ₱17.3 billion net income last year.

According to Aboitiz Power President and CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio, the company’s board approved cash dividend of ₱1.15 per share, as anchored on the firm’s full-year financial performance in 2019.

“Total pay given this year which is ₱9.0 billion is equivalent to and consistent with our policy of paying one half of company’s previous year’s net income,” he stated during his presentation in the company’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting on Monday (April 27).

Rubio acknowledged that “it was a tough year for Aboitiz Power and it considerably affected our stock performance. But despite the short-term impact on the share price, the long-term value we created for our shareholders remains intact.”

He expounded if gauged on the 10-year share price perspective, the company “clearly outperformed the market,” with average shareholder return logged at 19 percent compounded annually.

For this year, given the coronavirus pandemic that had been casting gloom on business prospects in the country, Aboitiz Power noted that its previously earmarked ₱41 billion for capital expenditures (capex) may warrant some re-assessment.

“We are reviewing the schedule of the rest of our capital expenditure given the current situation,” he stressed, while adding that the bulk of the pipelined capital outlay will have to be funneled to the 1,336-megawatt Dinginin coal fired power plant project in Bataan.

While domestic economy has yet to rise above the short-term crisis seeded by the global health plague and with the company wobbled by technical issues it had with its assets last year, Rubio asserted “we are coming out of this stronger than ever before.”

The Aboitiz firm said all of its power generation and distribution facilities continue to operate round-the-clock and delivering much-needed energy services to various areas in the country amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) enforced by the government.

“While the country’s total demand for power has dipped since the start of the ECQ, we are seeing an increase in consumption due to higher temperature,” Rubio said.

He added the company is anticipating “gradual increase in demand as we adjust to the gradual easing of the quarantine.”’

On the downside, it is the targeted grid synchronization and commercial operation of its 668MW Unit 1 Dinginin power facility that will be affected – with the schedule now targeted around first quarter next year instead of it getting on-line by June this year.