|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.
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,