Philex bottomline slides

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PHILEX Mining Corp. posted P647.79 million net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent firm in 2019, reversing the earlier year’s income of P608.46 million, the copper and gold producer’s financial report to the stock exchange shows.

Core net income slipped 74% to P155.63 million, although its quarterly performance showed improved towards year-end. It said core income was highest in the fourth quarter, or double that of the third quarter and a reversal of the net loss in the first quarter.

Despite the full-year profit fall, the company is looking at this year positively.

Eulalio B. Austin Jr., Philex president and chief executive officer, said the mining company’s Silangan project is one of the main priorities for 2020.

“Philex should be able to bring Silangan into operation before Padcal mine in Benguet ceases operations projected by end of 2022. Vicinity explorations at Padcal however is being pursued relentlessly,” he said.

Revenues last year reached P6.79 billion, down 11.1% from P7.64 billion the previous year. Cost and expenses rose 1.5% to P6.92 billion.

The company said it aims to sustain and maximize the potential of the Padcal mine operations while searching for additional mine assets that it can develop within or at the vicinity of the mining area.

It also said that the management, along with its financial advisors, is doubling efforts to find a strategic partner to implement the Silangan project in Surigao del Norte, which has obtained regulatory permits.

It said the improvement of tonnage, metal outputs and sustained metal prices in 2019 is “a jumpstart for a positive outlook for 2020 and will provide a window” to undertake debt reduction program from this year onwards.

On Friday, shares in Philex slipped by 1.69% to close at P2.90 each.

Philex Mining Corp. is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and PLDT Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave