Gokongwei group reviews businesses, eyes new normal after pandemic disruption

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2020 08:48 AM | Updated as of May 14 2020 08:53 AM

JG Summit Holdings CEO Lance Gokongwei speaks to reporters in this file photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- The Gokongwei group is reviewing its business models to follow consumers in the "new normal" as pandemic disruptions hit its airline and retail arms, CEO Lance Gokongwei said Thursday.

In the January to March period, "significant" growth in property and banking revenues as well as its food business helped cushion the decline in Cebu Pacific and JG Summit Petrochemicals, the conglomerate told the stock exchange.

Core net income after taxes in the first quarter fell 19 percent to P4.3 billion, JG Summit said in a disclosure. Consolidated revenues fell 10 percent to P67.9 billion. It will hold its annual stockholders' meeting via video conference later Thursday.

"We are now living in an extraordinary period where lives have been heavily disrupted," Gokongwei said.

"The situation has also driven us to review our current business and operating models to adapt to the new normal as we predict shifts in the way consumers buy/use our products and services. We are also now in the process of accelerating our digital transformation to further deliver value and improve customer experience," he said.

Varying lockdowns here and abroad grounded Cebu Pacific, the Philippines' largest airline, and limited operations of Robinsons shopping malls to groceries, pharmacies and food takeaways.

Cebu Pacific flights are canceled at least until May 31, the last day of the modified enhanced community quarantine or Modified ECQ in Metro Manila, neighboring Laguna province and the airline's hub, Cebu City.

"In response to this situation, our group remains focused on employee health and safety, operations and supply chain continuity of our key businesses, implementing measures to manage cash, costs and liquidity, and helping the communities," Gokongwei said.