By Leo Jaymar G. Uy
THE COUNTRY’S top 1,000 corporations continue to post strong earnings in 2017 amid a backdrop of sustained economic growth.
Now on its 32nd year, BusinessWorld’s Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines ranks private and public stock entities according to gross revenue using the latest available full-year audited financial statements, which for most companies on the list pertain to their 2017 performance.
The Top 1000 roster is based on parent-only financial statements, in which parent firms record only equitized earnings of subsidiaries. It also lists the country’s top 50 corporations based on consolidated financial statements.
Parent companies that made it to the list earned a cumulative P11.53 trillion in gross revenue and P1.33 trillion in net income in 2017, 11.7% and 6.4% more than in the preceding year.
The Top 1000 firms’ performance in 2017 compares to that of the overall economy’s 9.2% showing in 2017 based on current prices. To recall, the Philippine economy expanded by 6.7% based on constant 2000 prices, above the low end of the government’s 6.5-7.5% target range for 2017.
Retaining the top spot on this year’s list is Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). The power distributor made P275.42 billion in gross revenue and P271.9 billion in net sales, higher respectively by 9.9% and 10.5% from 2016. Its bottom line, however, was down 1.6% to P20.24 billion. Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. 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.
Not far behind is Petron Corp., a subsidiary of San Miguel Corp., which recorded P274.31 billion in gross earnings (up 18.8%)and P271.12 billion in net sales (20.1%). Its net income was likewise higher by 57.1% to rake in P8.95 billion during the period.
Rounding up the companies that occupied the third to 10th places were: Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., P175.15 billion; Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., P171.69 billion; TI (Philippines), Inc., P150.82 billion; Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc., P134.88 billion; Philippine Airlines, Inc., P133.16 billion; Mercury Drug Corp., P132.73 billion; BDO Unibank, Inc., P127.42 billion and Nestlé Philippines, Inc., P125.98 billion.
The latest list of top 50 conglomerates shows San Miguel Corp. and subsidiaries on top with P854.75 billion in gross revenue in 2017, higher by 19.3% from 2016. Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc. — San Miguel’s top shareholder — and its subsidiaries as well as Petron Corp. and its business units occupy the second and third rungs with gross revenues of P853.22 billion and P435.22 billion, respectively, up by 19.2% and 26.4%.
The fourth to 10th placers are: SM Investments Corp. and subsidiaries, P401.17 billion; Mermac, Inc. and subsidiaries, P289.27 billion; Ayala Corp. and subsidiaries, P289.25 billion; Meralco and subsidiaries, P285.57 billion; JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries, P275.63 billion; GT Capital Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries, P239.81 billion; Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and subsidiaries, P186.31 billion.
Save for information and communication technologies, most other sectors displayed gross revenue growth, with 12 out of the 16 posting double-digit increases. Gross revenues of manufacturers, which made up 36.9% of the 2017 total, grew by 10.9%, while those in financial and insurance activities (12.7% share); as well as wholesale and retail trade (20.6% share), grew by 18.6% and 13.4%, respectively.
Multinational companies have been a permanent fixture of the country’s corporate scene throughout the years. In 2017, earnings by multinationals grew by 12% to P4.04 trillion, accounting for 35% of the Top 1000.
Meanwhile, exporting firms included in the Top 1000 recorded P2.11 trillion in revenues, nine percent more than in the previous year.