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Our warmest greetings to all of you!                                                             

In 2015, we witnessed global events that have
reshaped the future of emerging economies.
The historic signing of a new climate deal at the
Paris COP21, the continued drop in oil price, the
geopolitical challenges in the Middle East, the refugee
crisis in Europe, the Federal Reserve’s increase of
interest rates, the slowing down of China’s economy
and its subsequent currency devaluation that created
a domino effect on the currencies of other emerging
economies. All of these prompted everyone to
recalibrate strategies on how to move forward in the
new global environment.

As an emerging economy, the Philippines is
poised to take on the challenges of the new
world order. Our economy is resilient, bolstered
by sound economic fundamentals and good
governance. The country successfully hosted the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit,
demonstrating its reputation as an alternative
trusted investment hub. The GDP in 2015 posted
a 5.8% growth, with analysts taking the optimistic
view that this growth trajectory will continue
in 2016 on the back of increased government
spending, and election-related consumption.

For us in the Aboitiz Group, we ride on the tailwind
that a growing economy brings. This is why we will
focus on positioning Aboitiz for the future as we
build a sustainable, responsible, and industry-leading
enterprise that promotes inclusive growth in sectors
where our core businesses operate. Our efforts to
pursue organic growth, invest in new assets, and
strengthen operational capabilities support our desire
to create long-term value for all stakeholders.

Celebrating Milestones
After over a century of doing business in the
Philippines, the Aboitiz Group today remains
 
steadfast in its role as a major contributor to
nation building. After we announced our entry
in the infrastructure and infrastructure-related
business, we partnered in 2015 with CRH, a
global building materials company, to acquire a
majority stake in the operations of Lafarge in the
Philippines. The new Republic Cement was born,
a 60-year-old brand and a leader in the cement
industry. With Republic Cement, we are securing
our foothold in the infrastructure sector, allowing us
to capture opportunities in the expanding housing,
construction and public infrastructure industries.
Our acquired assets will allow us to serve the needs
of a rapidly developing economy.

In 2015, AEV also acquired a majority stake in
PETNET, which has the largest network of Western
Union agents in the country. PETNET has great
potential for growth and development, with the
continued rise in remittances from overseas Filipino
workers and the strategic opportunity to distribute
complementary products of our banking and financial
services through its extensive network of outlets.

These new businesses will provide AEV with a more
diversified income stream while meeting our growth
criteria of scalability, compatibility with existing core
competencies, and the potential to provide strong
recurring profits and cash flow.

2015 was also a milestone year for our parent
company, Aboitiz & Company (ACO), which
celebrated the 95th anniversary of its incorporation.
Since 1920, ACO has undergone five smooth
transitions in top management, and each time,
leadership has been seamlessly passed on to a
family member. Looking at the bright horizon ahead,
we are optimistic that we will be able to sustain
our leadership in the businesses we are in, driven
by our teams’ passion to lead, excel and serve. We
face the future confident of our continued success,
 

"We nurture leaders from among our ranks, leaders who will
lead by example, mentor and foster teamwork, speak what’s
on their mind, and deliver results for sustainable growth. As
of 2015, about 72% of our senior leaders are homegrown,
and our target is to hit 80%. We want to groom team leaders
who share the same philosophy and who, ultimately, will not
only act with the same interest as owners, but will be able to
preserve the Aboitiz Way."


 
guided by our time-honored core values of integrity,                                       
teamwork, innovation and responsibility.

We also celebrated the golden anniversary of
City Savings Bank. After 50 years of serving niche
customers, its “Simple is Good” philosophy remains
an integral element of the bank’s day-to-day
achievements. From a small thrift bank in Cebu in
1965, CitySavings has today grown to 100 branches
nationwide, and it will continue to widen its reach,
demonstrating the value of financial inclusivity in
helping more people of moderate means.

To cap the year of milestones, AEV was recognized
as one of the top 50 publicly listed companies in
the region cited for good corporate governance
and was conferred with the first ASEAN Corporate
Governance Award. In the same week, AEV also
received the Bell Awards for Corporate Governance
from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

We believe in the crucial role of corporate
governance in building, enhancing and protecting
our reputation, which we consider as our most
important asset. Our continued transparency,
accountability and fairness will build stronger
trust from all our stakeholders, not only from our
shareholders, but also from our team members, our
customers, our lenders, the regulators, our partners,
our host communities, and the general public.

Sustaining Leadership
We recognize that without excellent people and
the right capabilities, no company can sustain
 
exceptional performance over time, and this is
where our strategic pillar on building human capital
plays a central role.

Crucial to our success is to attract top-caliber
professionals who will not only help us manage
our business, but will also upgrade the Group’s
capabilities and skills moving forward.

We nurture leaders from among our ranks, leaders
who will lead by example, mentor and foster
teamwork, speak what’s on their mind, and deliver
results for sustainable growth. As of 2015, about 72%
of our senior leaders are homegrown, and our target
is to hit 80%. We want to groom team leaders who
share the same philosophy and who, ultimately, will
not only act with the same interest as owners, but
will be able to preserve the Aboitiz Way.

Our Coaching & Mentoring Program is an initiative for
all officers across the Group, beefing up our capability
to truly optimize talent and support our A-people in
their quest for self-driven career development.

At the heart of our human capital-building efforts
is the nurturing of the Aboitiz Way, our time-tested
set of values of integrity, teamwork, innovation and
responsibility that has guided the way the organization
has been run for more than 100 years now.

Building a BetterWorld
We have been able to successfully expand our
sustainability efforts believing that the only way to
sustain the robust growth of our businesses is to
 
continue contributing to improving people’s lives                       
and the communities where they live, and to help                                                         
protect and preserve our planet’s resources.

Education remains at the forefront of our corporate
social responsibility programs. We have been
advancing efforts in this area because we believe that
a better-educated youth means a better Philippines.

In 2015, we opened the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in
Davao City, fulfilling our commitment to provide a
sanctuary for the endangered hawksbill turtle or
pawikan, and the other 66 species that thrive in the
eight-hectare biodiversity haven.

The Aboitiz Group is now the biggest partner of
the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) in its
nationwide reforestation program. Our goal of planting
9 million trees by year 2020 under our A-Park program
has inspired us to sign a partnership with the DENR to
support its National Greening Program.

Through WeatherPhilippines, we beefed up our
climate resilience efforts through a partnership
with the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation
(PDRF). The partnership allows WeatherPhilipines to
provide localized weather information and access to
early warning systems to strengthen PDRF’s disaster
operations center. WeatherPhilippines will also
provide trainings and expert meteorological advice
to enhance the business continuity mechanisms of
the PDRF’s network.

In response to the call to implement measures
towards creating a climate-resilient nation, the
Aboitiz Group signed two accords in 2015 – the
Manila Declaration and the Water Alliance. In the
Manila Declaration, we joined local businesses in
drafting a concerted plan of action that will support
the Philippine government’s commitment to the
Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC),
which was presented at the Conference of Parties

 
in Paris in December. Meanwhile the Water Alliance               
lead by Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)
was launched to address the issues and provide
solutions to the looming water supply problems in
the country aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon.

Our Gratitude and Appreciation
While our journey to create a sustainable
enterprise, and ultimately live in a BetterWorld, will
not happen overnight, we are confident that we are
on the right track to propel our enterprise onto the
next exciting growth phase.

We thank you, our dear shareholders, for your
steadfast trust in the Aboitiz Group. We truly value
your trust and this has inspired us to continue to do
well and work towards the greater good of all our
stakeholders. We thank all our business partners,
our host communities, and our customers for their
partnership. Our deep gratitude goes to all our team
leaders and team members, driven by their passion
for better ways, for their invaluable contributions to
the Group’s success.

Moving forward, we will push ahead in our journey
to address and balance our economic, social and
environmental responsibilities with our business
priorities. By creating shared value, we are ensuring
that the Aboitiz Group will continue to be a strong
and sustainable business leader in the future.