Home Editors' Picks Coronavirus pandemic slams revenues of Philippines’ top 1000 firms

Coronavirus pandemic slams revenues of Philippines’ top 1000 firms

Operations of many businesses were affected by the strict lockdown implemented to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak last year. A woman walks in an almost empty shopping mall amid a lockdown in Quezon City, Metro Manila in this photo taken on May 17, 2020. — REUTERS/ELOISA LOPEZ

By Ana Olivia A. Tirona, Researcher

THE COUNTRY’S TOP 1,000 corporations saw their combined gross revenue decline for the first time in 2020 as the economy grappled with the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The aggregate gross revenue of the top 1000 firms amounted to P10.796 trillion, 13.2% lower than the P12.439 trillion earned by the same roster of firms in 2019. Meanwhile, their combined net income declined by 39.5% to P889.346 billion from P1.469 trillion recorded in the year prior.

Now on its 35th year, BusinessWorld Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines ranks private and public stock entities based on gross revenue using the latest available full-year audited financial statements.

Comparison of sectoral performance in 2020

The contraction in gross revenue reflected the decline in economic output amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year that prompted companies to close shop, suspend operations or operate at below full capacity. The Philippine economy contracted by a record 9.6% in 2020 in real terms (-8.1% in current prices), its worst performance since the 1940s.

The latest edition of the Top 1000 had a gross revenue cutoff of P1.563 billion, 16% lower than the previous edition’s P1.870 billion, considering the financial statements that were collected.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) grabbed the no. 1 spot in this year’s edition with P266.055 billion in gross revenue in 2020. However, this was down 13.9% from the previous year’s gross earnings of P309.090 billion. Likewise, its net income fell by 29.1% to P14.628 billion from P20.644 billion.

Second on the list is BDO Unibank, Inc., which saw its gross revenue contract by 4.7% to P186.951 billion last year from P196.226 billion. The lender’s net profit stood at P28.606 billion, dropping by 35.3% from P44.233 billion the year before.

Petron Corp. ranked third with a gross revenue of P179.452 billion, 44.5% down from the P323.273 billion posted in 2019. The oil refiner and distributor saw net losses of P11.202 billion, a reversal of its net profit of P114.923 million the previous year.

Rounding out the top 10 are PMFTC, Inc. with P176.939 billion in revenues; Mercury Drug Corp., P161.928 billion; Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., P158.002 billion; Nestlé Philippines, Inc., P135.735 billion; Globe Telecom, Inc., P135.519 billion; Puregold Price Club, Inc., P125.888 billion; and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., P113.849 billion.

The Top 1000 publication also includes a separate table ranking of these firms that include their respective subsidiaries. This is different from the main top 1,000 list wherein parent-only financial statements are used to account only for parent firms’ equitized earnings of their subsidiaries and associates.

In this year’s top 200 “consolidated” corporations, Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries topped the list with P774.294 billion in gross revenue in 2020, falling 27.5% from the year prior.

The combined business units of San Miguel Corp. and SM Investments Corp. placed second and third with gross earnings of P773.569 billion (-27.6%) and P396.751 billion (-21.7%), respectively.

The rest of the top 10 included Petron Corp. and subsidiaries with P290.369 billion in revenues; San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc. and subsidiaries, P281.643 billion; Meralco and subsidiaries, P279.161 billion; Ayala Corp. and subsidiaries, P239.031 billion; JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries, P226.395 billion; BDO and subsidiaries, P212.241 billion; and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. and subsidiaries, P201.645 billion.

Of the 18 sectors represented by the top 1,000 corporations, 14 saw their combined gross revenue fall with 11 showing double-digit declines. Gross earnings of manufacturers, which made up 36.2% of the 2020 total, slipped by 13.2%. Likewise, those in the wholesale and retail trade (19.2% share) and financial and insurance activities (16.9% share), contracted by 9.8% and 7.0%, respectively.

The list included 370 multinational companies, accounted for 37.1% of the top 1000’s total gross revenue this year. Its gross revenues stood at P4.010 trillion, 8.9% less than in 2019.

Exporting firms included in the top 1000 recorded P2.046 trillion in revenues, down 6.9% from the previous year. They made up 19% of total gross revenues in 2020.

BusinessWorld Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines can be purchased at select branches of National Book Store, Powerbooks, Fully Booked, Office Warehouse and Rustan’s Supermarket. These can also be purchased directly through BusinessWorld’s Circulation Department at (+632) 8535-9901 loc. 256-257 or (+63) 917 658 4564. You may also e-mail at circ@bworldonline.com or contact the Research Department at research@bworldonline.com for further inquiries. The portable document format (PDF) version will be available in January 2022.