AYALA Corp. expects the return of its net income to pre-pandemic levels as the listed conglomerate projects its core value drivers to further contribute this year.

“We expect our net income after tax to be guided by our core pre-pandemic levels. We expect our core value drivers to continue contributing meaningful levels of income,” the company said in an e-mail response to questions.

Ayala disclosed on Friday that core net income last year rose by 18% to P27.7 billion, due to contributions from its core operations.

“This was mainly due to higher contributions from BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) and Ayala Land[, Inc.], both of which benefited from the reopening of the economy,” it said in a media release.

Ayala said BPI’s net income grew by 66% to P39.6 billion due to higher interest and non-interest income.

Other units similarly posted profit growth.

Globe Telecom, Inc.’s net income increased by 46% to P34.6 billion, mainly attributed to higher data service revenues and gains from the sale of properties and assets.

Additionally, ACEN Corp. posted P13.1 billion in net income, more than double the previous year’s profit, due to its acquisition of UPC Australia and contributions from its new domestic and international power plants.

Its parent company AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp.’s net income fell by 50% to P4.6 billion.

The company said that this was due to “one-offs” from the divestment of two coal assets: a write-down from the divestment of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. in 2022 and a gain from the divestment of GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co. in 2021.

ACEN also reported a 5% drop in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to P14.3 billion.

“As for ACEN, it has 2.4 GW (gigawatts) of new capacity under construction, 53% of which is coming online in 2023,” the company said in the e-mail.

“Thus, this will help ACEN return to equilibrium and be a net seller in the spot market,” the company added.

Meanwhile, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in an e-mail that Ayala is likely to return to pre-pandemic earnings through contributions from its subsidiaries.

“AC is likely to climb its way back to pre-pandemic earnings through likely strong contributions from BPI and the renewable energy arm’s expansion,” Ms. Ulang said, referring to the company’s stock symbol.

Ms. Ulang also said that the company’s telco arm could face “tougher competition amid a matured market.”

This year, Ayala has allocated a capital expenditure budget of P264 billion, which is 5.8% lower than the P280.3 billion spent in the previous year.

On the stock market on Friday, Ayala shares fell by 1.03% or P6.50 to close at P624 apiece. — Adrian H. Halili