ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is optimistic about the growth of its business units, including its land, infrastructure, and food firms.

AEV expects its property business, AboitizLand, Inc., to exceed its year-end target by 10%, closing at P4.2 billion. The listed company sees this as AboitizLand’s “strongest performance in history,” owing to a shift in consumer preferences during the lockdown.

On the back of increased construction activity and stronger sales, AboitizLand’s residential business contributed 73% of total revenue.

“AboitizLand sales continue to perform strongly, with our 2021 target in reservations already achieved as of [the third quarter],” David L. Rafael, AboitizLand president and chief executive officer (CEO), said at a briefing on Thursday last week.

“We have generated P3.7 billion, an 89% increase versus the previous year, resulting from improved sales operations across the different projects and continued efforts in building up sales momentum,” he added.

The real estate firm will also be working with Aboitiz-led UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered sales program to address its problems on forfeitures.

“We’re developing a program using AI that will allow us a reasonable expectation of a buyer given certain parameters, given certain information of their probability of forfeiting their accounts. That should help us in reducing cancelation of sales,” Mr. Rafael said.

Meanwhile, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. said the first phase of its LIMA estate’s industrial expansion is “substantially complete” and that 80% of its inventory has been reserved.

Phase 2 construction, which will add 49 hectares to its inventory, will start in January next year.

Aboitiz InfraCapital President and CEO Cosette V. Canilao also said the unit is “assessing the opportunity” to bid for PLDT, Inc.’s telecommunications towers via Unity Digital Infrastructure, Inc.

For its part, food holding firm Pilmico & Gold Coin Group said it will open two new The Good Meat physical stores before the end of the year, bringing its total to three.

The food group also announced the completion of mills in Malaysia and Vietnam. It also aims to complete its warehouse expansion in Indonesia by the first quarter of 2022.

“Once completed, the facility will help improve efficiencies, stability of production, and reduce the need for external warehouse dependencies,” Pilmico President and CEO Tristan S. Aboitiz said.

The group has already begun building new mills in Vietnam and China.

AEV said on Thursday it expects to complete Pilmico’s third breeder farm in Nueva Ecija by June next year. It will have a 2,500-sow level capacity.

AEV earned P19.5 billion in core net income from January to September, up 133% year on year, while its consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased 28% to P49.5 billion.

Meanwhile, listed Aboitiz Power Corp. accounted for 58% of total income contributions in the first nine months of the year, followed by banking arm UnionBank with 26%, Pilmico Foods Corp. with seven percent, Aboitiz InfraCapital with six percent, and AboitizLand with three percent.

“If the trends hold up — our business units have been performing well [while] our EBITDA has been growing quarterly — I think that bodes well for us,” Manuel R. Lozano, chief finance officer of AEV, said.

On Friday, shares of AEV at the stock exchange climbed 0.88% or 45 centavos to close at P51.45 apiece.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte