By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

EARNINGS of Ayala Corp. (AC) more than doubled in the first half of 2019, boosted by divestment gains from its education and energy businesses.

In a regulatory filing, the listed conglomerate said net income attributable to the parent grew 135% to P37.84 billion in the six-month period. Revenues also went up 8% to P160.38 billion. The company did not disclose second-quarter figures.

AC attributed its performance to the twofold increase in equity earnings from its business units to P41.7 billion. This includes divestment gains from AC Education, Inc.’s merger with Yuchengco-led iPeople, Inc., as well as its partial divestment from AC Energy, Inc.’s thermal assets.

AC Energy in June agreed to transfer its assets in the 552-megawatt GNPower Kauswagan’s (GNPK) coal-fired power project to its partner, Power Partners Ltd. Co. The deal will be implemented in tranches, subject to certain closing conditions and approval from the Philippine Competition Commission.

“Our first-half results reflect the strength of our core holdings in real estate, banking, and telecommunications. This was complemented by the value realization initiatives in our energy business,” AC President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a statement.

AC’s business units include Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Globe Telecom, Inc., Manila Water Co., Inc., AC Energy, and AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc.

For the property segment, ALI’s net income climbed 12% to P15.2 billion after a 4% increase in revenues to P83.2 billion. The listed company benefited from higher office sales and the double-digit growth of its commercial leasing segment.

ALI faced delays in securing permits for real estate projects during the semester, leading to only P19.5 billion worth of launches against its P130-billion target for the entire year. The company is optimistic it can unveil about P111 billion worth of projects in the second half to ramp up its inventory.

Meanwhile, BPI’s net income grew 25% to P13.7 billion. Revenues went up 23% to P45.9 billion, thanks to margin expansion and the growth of its fee-income business.

Earnings of Globe Telecom went up 21% to P12 billion for the same period, following continued demand for data-related services. Service revenues were up 13% to P72.9 billion, driven by data revenues which accounted for 70%. Its prepaid segment also pushed mobile revenues 11% higher to P54.6 billion.

Manila Water’s profit fell 18% to P2.9 billion due to supply challenges during the semester. The east zone concessionaire said the water shortage led to higher operating expenses and lower billed volume, offsetting the 7% increase in revenues to P10.5 billion.

AC Energy’s net profit stood at P23.2 billion, primarily driven by the partial sale of the GNPK project.

On the other hand, AC Industrials recognized a net loss of P510 million for the period, dragged by the global slowdown in the automotive industry, geopolitical risks in the United Kingdom and China, as well as weaker sales from its Honda, Isuzu, and Volkswagen brands.

Shares in AC rose 0.21% or P2 to close at P940 apiece on Tuesday.