DMCI group sees strong business recovery in 2021

MANILA – Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings Inc. is optimistic about a “very strong” business recovery in 2021 after a marked slowdown in consolidated earnings it expects this year amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) that continues to drag down economic activities.

In a virtual media briefing Tuesday, DMCI Holdings chairman and president Isidro Consunji said once public transport returns to normal and the government starts relaxing various regulations, their business is expected to improve significantly.

“Wala kaming nakikitang (We don’t see) new opportunities aside from construction, infrastructure buildup. Hopefully, the government will relax on its permits (particularly) permits in the area of mining, then that will be a very big boost immediately to the company. Aside from that, we don’t see any major development for this year,” he said.

DMCI Homes president Alfredo Austria is confident about having good residential real estate sales by the middle of next year.

“For real estate, I think generally, we are expecting that things will be slow. But for residential real estate, I think we are serving a need market so there are a lot of people who need homes,” he said.

Austria said the company plans to launch one or two projects this second half of 2020.

“Our current projects are still encouraging despite common expectations na wala ng bumibili (that no one buys). In fact, marami pa rin bumibili (many still buy) in a few projects that we have available units,” he added.

DMCI Mining Corp. president Cesar Simbulan Jr. said the company expects next year will be better than 2019.

“At this first half of the year, we already shipped as much as what we shipped the whole of 2019. We still have another half (of the year)… We are pretty sure we can do 30 shipments this year as opposed to 23 of last year. Our only drawback is prices of nickel are on the average slower than last year,” he added.

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Meanwhile, Consunji said they see weak demand and low selling prices to affect most of their businesses this year.

“DMCI (D.M. Consunji, Inc.) could show more resilience if supported by massive public spending and timely issuance of permits and rights-of-way,” he said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

Similar to most companies, DMCI Holdings and its subsidiaries are deferring their capital spending to boost liquidity and keep balance sheets healthy.

“Consolidated capex (capital expenditures) will be streamlined by more than half to PHP19.4 billion. Most of the reduction will come from DMCI Homes, which plans to slow down its land acquisitions this year. From PHP19 billion, their land banking expenses will be limited to PHP4 billion,” he said.

The conglomerate originally planned a capital spending of PHP40.4 billion. (PNA)