Roxas Holdings posts P3.8-B net loss

LISTED sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings, Inc. (RHI) posted an attributable net loss of P3.81 billion for its 2020 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 despite cutting its net debt.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Thursday, the sugar company said its result for 2020 is worse than its 2019 losses of P1.88 billion.

Revenues of RHI dropped 41.1% to P4.8 billion against P8.15 billion in the previous year.

Further, the company said its net debt dropped 55.1% to P4.4 billion compared with P9.8 billion a year ago due to the completion of its asset sale.

RHI Chairman Pedro E. Roxas said funds from the sale of company assets such as its sugar mill and ethanol plant in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental, and investment properties like shares in Najalin Agri-Ventures, Inc. were used to pay all long-term loans.

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“The sale of these assets to significantly reduce our debt is part of our efforts to de-risk the business and focus on expanding our sugar refinery operations in Nasugbu, Batangas,” Mr. Roxas said.

“This will also allow the group to help our country minimize importation of refined sugar needed by beverage and food manufacturers,” he added.

Meanwhile, the company said its non-recurring losses reached P2.6 billion as a result of its asset sale and goodwill impairment at the end of the year.

RHI Chief Financial Officer Celso T. Dimarucut said before the non-recurring charges, the company’s overall growth was tempered by losses from its ethanol business segment.

“The early shutdown of our alcohol plants due to the delays in lifting by oil companies and the steep rise in the cost of feedstock tempered gains, which resulted in slim margins for the alcohol unit,” he said.

Mr. Dimarucut added that the company’s performance during its fiscal year was also affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in January, worsened by fewer available canes in the area, which subsequently hampered its production of refined sugar.

“Despite the prevailing uncertainties due to the pandemic, RHI is doing its best to fast track recovery and implement a wide-ranging transformation strategy to rebuild its sugar mill and refinery in Batangas, while boosting its alcohol business in Negros Occidental and strengthening its agri-business with more targeted programs to help farmers increase their yields,” he said.

Meanwhile, RHI also announced in another regulatory filing that Mr. Dimarucut will be appointed as the company’s president and chief executive officer effective immediately.

As a result, George T. Cheung will be the company’s executive vice-president, chief commercial officer, and chief risk officer to take effect on Jan. 15, 2021.

In a separate disclosure on Thursday, RHI’s parent company Roxas and Co., Inc. announced that the board of directors had approved the sale of some properties to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. (NGCP).

The company has sold a total of 27,680 square meters coming from its own property and some portions of Roxaco Land Corp.’s property in Banilad, Batangas to NGCP.

“The properties are intended to be used by NGCP for its Tuy (Calaca)-Dasmarinas 500 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project. The project of NGCP will be adjacent to properties of the corporation identified as a site for a future solar project,” the company said.

On Thursday, shares in RHI fell 2.17% or 4 centavos to close at P1.80 apiece, while those in Roxas and Co. rose 0.69% or one centavo to end at P1.45 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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