Asset sale slashed debt in half, ‘derisked’ business: Roxas Holdings

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2020 09:38 AM

Asset sale slashed debt in half, ‘derisked’ business: Roxas Holdings 1
Roxas Holdings Inc. logo. File Photo

MANILA - The sale of Roxas group's assets was able to pay off half of its debt in a move to derisk its business, it said on Thursday.

Its sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) sold off their sugar mill and ethanol plant in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental to Universal Robina Corp., which halved its net debt to P4.4 billion from P9.8 billion last year.

"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,” Roxas RHI Chairman Pedro Roxas said.

Business refocusing led to non-recurring losses of P2.6 billion. This contributed to RHI's net loss of P3.8 billion from January to September from a narrower net loss of P1.9 billion in the same period last year.

Challenges such as plant shutdown, rise in costs, slim margins, and the hampered operations on Taal Volcano eruption in January all contributed to the company's losses, said Celso Dimarucut, RHI executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“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 added.

The group's Roxas and Company Inc. also approved the sale of over 27,000 square meters of its property in Banilad, Batangas to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for its Tuy-(Calaca)-Dasmariñas 500 kV Transmission Line project.