ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) on Wednesday reported a consolidated net income of P7.6 billion, jumping by 276% year on year, in what it called “solid proof” of moving ahead despite the pandemic.

“Our early initiatives on innovation and digitalization propelled the organization’s business continuity at the onset of the pandemic and we are prepared and committed to see our businesses through with the same growth pathways and trajectory,” AEV President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said in a disclosure to the exchange.

If one-off losses were not accounted for, the company’s core net income would have been P7.8 billion. AEV said it recognized nonrecurring losses, which declined by 16% to P219 million from the P262 million incurred in the first three months of 2020.

The company’s consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) totaled P18 billion for the quarter, improving by 53% from P11.8 billion.

“The first quarter of 2021 is solid proof that the Aboitiz Group is already making headway in its recovery and growth plans for the year,” Mr. Aboitiz said.

Aboitiz Power Corp. made up for 58% of the total income contributions of the company’s strategic business units. AEV’s power segment accounted for P4.8 billion, twice more than its P1.6-billion share in the first quarter of the previous year.

Meanwhile, AboitizPower’s consolidated net income for the quarter improved by 197% to P6.2 billion from P2.1 billion due to higher water inflows, improved availability of thermal facilities, and increased spot sales.

“Our first quarter results are very encouraging. We intend to keep this growth momentum by continuously working towards our availability and reliability targets,” AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio said in a separate regulatory filing on Wednesday.

AboitizPower took into account nonrecurring losses incurred during the three-month period amounting to P29 million, nearly 7% higher than the P27 million incurred in 2020.

“AboitizPower was also able to claim liquidated damages for the delay in the construction of GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. and received the final payment for business interruption claims resulting from the GNPower Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co. outages in 2020,” AEV’s power segment said.

The generation and retail electricity supply business of AboitizPower improved its EBITDA during the period to P11.9 billion from the P7.4 billion seen in the previous year.

Capacity sold totaled to 3,558 megawatts (MW), three percent higher than the 3,445 MW sold in 2020. Energy sales also improved to 6,130 gigawatt-hours (GWh), an improvement of eight percent from 6,130 GWh.

AboitizPower’s distribution segment, meanwhile, ended the first quarter with an EBITDA sliding down by two percent to P2.07 billion from P2.12 billion.

Energy sales slowed to 1,308 GWh, eight percent lower than the 1,429 GWh sold in the first three months of 2020 due to lower energy consumption of commercial and industrial customers.

UnionBank of the Philippines, the banking unit of AEV, accounted for P2.4 billion or 29% of the business segments’ income contribution. This is 79% higher than the P1.3 billion generated in the previous year.

The bank and its subsidiaries posted a net income of P4.7 billion for the first three months of the year, jumping by 79% from P2.6 billion a year ago.

Net revenues of UnionBank improved to P14.3 billion, while it booked net interest income of P7.2 billion due to the rise in CASA (current account savings accounts) deposits.

AEV’s non-listed food segments Pilmico Foods Corp., Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corp., and Pilmico International Pte. Ltd. contributed P630 million or 8% to the company’s earnings, which is a growth of 262% from the P174 million seen in the same period in 2020.

Its farms business generated P153 million in net income, the feeds segment earned P355 million, and the net income of the flour business amounted to P188 million.

The company’s infrastructure group Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc. contributed P344 million or 4% in the first quarter, nearly five times higher than its P61-million share year on year due to higher sales volume while costs were reduced.

Real estate subsidiary AboitizLand, Inc. meanwhile accounted for P701 million of the income contribution due to improved sales.

The real estate subsidiary recorded a consolidated net income of P101 million in the first quarter, swinging from the P110-million loss incurred in the same period in the previous year.

The Aboitiz group also welcomed 84 new students to its Master of Data Science program at the Asian Institute of Management’s Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (ASITE) via an online convocation last week. ASITE was created through a $10-million grant from the group.

AEV shares at the stock exchange went up by 3.97% or P1.35 to close at P35.35 apiece on Wednesday, while shares of Aboitiz Power gained 2.03% or P0.45 to finish at P22.65 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte