By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
EAGLE CEMENT Corp. plans to roll out P3.28 billion in capital expenditures (capex) this year as it continues its expansion program.
In a presentation posted on its website, the listed cement manufacturer said bulk of the capex will be used to finish its fifth mill at P1.5 billion.
About P1.22 billion will be used for maintenance and general capex, while the remaining P565 million will be used to fund a project for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
The company said it has fully commissioned its third production line in Bulacan last December, which increased its capacity by two million metric tons (MT) every year. It is currently constructing its Bulacan grinding facility, which will add another 1.5 million MT annually.
The Bulacan plants will bring Eagle Cement’s total annual capacity to 8.6 million metric tons by 2020.
Eagle Cement is also developing its fourth production line in Malabuyoc, Cebu, with an annual capacity of two million MT. The company expects to complete the projects within the first half of 2021.
Earnings of Eagle Cement rose 13% to P4.8 billion in 2018, after net sales also went up by 11% to P16.5 billion. The company noted that earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) went up by nine percent to P6.8 billion, even as the company recorded higher input costs in the second half of the year.
In the fourth quarter alone, the cement manufacturer’s net income stood at P1.3 billion, 36% higher year on year, on the back of a 19% uptick in sales to P4.3 billion. EBITDA for the period also jumped 36% to P1.74 billion.
Eagle Cement President and Chief Executive Officer John Paul L. Ang said he expects their growth momentum to continue, as the company aims to become the leading player in the cement industry in the following years.
Eagle Cement Chairman Ramon S. Ang reportedly submitted a bit earlier this year to buy the local assets of Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim Ltd. to further expand the firm. The group’s Philippine assets are estimated to be valued at about $2.5 billion.
This comes amid reports that Lafarge Holcim is preparing the sale of its Philippine business to further reduce debt by selling non-core assets. The group had earlier sold its Indonesia business as part of a broader strategic review of its Southeast Asia operations.
Shares in Eagle Cement rose 0.64% or 10 centavos to close at P15.80 each at the stock exchange on Monday.