MANILA, Philippines – Conglomerate Ayala Corporation is planning to invest $50 million in the health care and education business over the few next years, taking advantage of the growing population and rising consumer spending.
“As our core businesses grow, we continue to seek new areas to invest in. We are developing new platforms in the health care and education spaces. We believe these two sectors present excellent opportunities for growth and scale,” Ayala Corporation president and CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.
The planned investment in these two new sectors is small compared to committed investments in core business, as well as power and infrastructure sectors, but the company is interested in growing the business moving forward, Ayala Corporation head of corporate strategy Paolo Borromeo said in a briefing August 14.
“These are two sectors we feel we should look at more closely because many people talk about demographic dividend, consumer story, and consumer spending, but we feel health care and education is what is going to drive the demographic dividend in the future,” Borromeo said.
To date, the conglomerate has invested $20 million in both health care and eduction business with the recent acquisition of 50% interest in pharmaceutical chain Generika group and 60% University of Nueva Caceres in Naga, Camarines Sur.
Apart from healthcare and education, Ayala Corporation chief finance officer TG Limcaoco said the conglomerate is also on the lookout for possible investments that would flourish amid rising incomes and growing population.
In particular, the conglomerate is looking at the possibility of going back to consumer agribusiness sector, after selling Purefoods to San Miguel Corporation in 2001.
Ayala Corporation reported that its net income for the first half of 2015 rose 6% to ₱10.4 billion ($225.05 million), driven by the double-digit growth in the equity earnings of Globe Telecom, Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Integrated Microelectronics. This, combined with the positive contribution from AC Energy Holdings, drove Ayala’s equity earnings to a solid first half financial performance.
The conglomerate’s net income in the first semester grew 31%, excluding the previous year’s divestment gains from the sale of Stream Global Services.
Zobel de Ayala said the conglomerate’s earnings continue to grow at a strong pace in step with the overall performance of our business units.
“As demand drivers remain upbeat, and as our investments in power come onstream, we believe this strong growth will continue throughout the year,” he said. – Rappler.com
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