LISTED Axelum Resources Corp. has allocated around P350 million for its capital expenditures (capex) in 2021 to support its growth amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the company said it had earmarked the said amount to fund the modernization of equipment, upgrade its capacity, and new product research and development initiatives.

“The company is also seeking to extend its market reach both domestically and overseas by appointing reputable distribution partners in identified key growth areas and continues to look for strategic and value-accretive targets for either an acquisition or joint-venture,” the company said.

Axelum has started the production of pressed coconut water, which is a product of its client Vita Coco. The company projects to achieve double-digit volume growth in its coconut water segment due to stronger demand.

“Last year, we capitalized on downtime at our manufacturing facilities driven by the COVID-19 pandemic to increase capacity in existing products and introduce new products, both of which will drive substantial growth in the future,” Axelum President and Chief Operating Officer Henry J. Raperoga said.

Further, Axelum is currently operating its production lines at full capacity for products such as coconut milk powder, desiccated coconut, coconut water, and coconut cream and milk.

Citing industry experts, the company said the market for coconut milk powder is expected to quickly grow due to its commercial applications and higher demand for organic coconut milk powder as a component for plant-based food products.

“We are entering 2021 with a renewed sense of courage and optimism anchored on our collective efforts and various learnings from last year, which strengthened our character and resolve,” Mr. Raperoga said.

Axelum recently announced the extension of its share buy-back program up to P500 million until June 30, 2021. As of writing, the company has bought 80.43 million treasury shares.

On Thursday, shares in Axelum at the stock exchange fell 1.53% or five centavos to end at P3.22 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave