Improved earnings back Alliance Global’s push to go digital

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ANDREW L. Tan’s Alliance Global, Inc. (AGI) recorded profit growth of 15% in 2019 on the back of its improved top line, powering its digitalization efforts to counter the impact of the global pandemic.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Thursday, the listed conglomerate posted P27.1 billion in profit last year, higher compared with P23.7 billion it reported in 2018.

This came as its total revenues expanded by 15% to P180 billion from P156.8 billion a year ago. Net income to owners in the year also increased to P17.7 billion, up 17% from P15.1 billion.

“Our much-improved performance last year has placed the AGI Group on a strong and healthy financial footing that served us well during this time of the coronavirus pandemic,” AGI Chief Executive Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan was quoted as saying.

Last year, AGI’s property arm Megaworld Corp. contributed P17.9 billion to its parent, an 18% increase from the P15.2 billion recorded in the previous year.

AGI’s beverage segment Emperador, Inc. chipped in P7 billion, up 5% from P6.7 billion in 2018.

Golden Arches Development Corp., the master franchise holder of global fast-food chain McDonald’s in the Philippines, raised its attributable income in 2019 by 15% to P1.9 billion.

Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., owner and operator of Resorts World Manila, saw its income share to its parent fell by 35% to P945 million from P1.44 billion a year ago.

This year, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is “accelerating” AGI’s digitalization with investments in e-commerce applications, interactive customer service management, and contactless online transactions, among others.

“This should help us navigate the business environment and provide our customers with the enhanced services they need under the new reality,” Mr. Tan said.

AGI contributed a total of P1.1 billion in donations and financial assistance to the efforts to arrest the spread of COVID-19. This was made possible by its low gearing in 2019, with a consolidated net debt-to-equity ratio at 49%.

Shares in AGI decreased by 2.7% to close at P6.86 each on Thursday. — Adam J. Ang