Top 1000 firms show PH growth story intact

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New buildings going up beside older ones in the business district in Makati City. (photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)

MANILA – The narrative on the Philippines’ robust economic growth remains intact, judging from the strong earnings performance of the country’s top 1,000 firms.

Now on its 31st year, BusinessWorld’s Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines ranks stock entities — both private and public — according to gross revenue for the latest available full-year audited financial statements, which for most companies on the list pertain to their 2016 performance.

Companies that made it to the list earned a cumulative P9.88 trillion in gross revenue and P1.24 trillion in net income in 2016, 9.7% and 14.6% more than in the preceding year.

The Top 1000 firms’ performance in 2016 is reflective of the overall economic performance that year with gross domestic product growth of 6.9% being the fastest in three years as well as the second fastest among its Asian neighbors.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) retained the top spot on the latest list. The power distributor raked in gross earnings of P250.71 billion in 2016, 0.3% more than in 2015, and grew net income by 11.7% to P20.57 billion. Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Petron Corp. stayed put in second place. The subsidiary of San Miguel Corp. saw a 4.3% decline in gross revenue to P230.99 billion and a 3.6% increase in net income to P5.7 billion.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. leaped four places to grab the third spot, growing gross revenue by 36.9% to P154.87 billion on account of a record 27% increase in vehicle sales, according to parent GT Capital Holdings, Inc.’s 2016 annual report.

Rounding the rest of the top 10 were Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. with a P137.84 billion gross revenue; Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc. (P130.84 billion); Nestlé Philippines, Inc. (P125.50 billion); Mercury Drug Corp. (P123.19 billion); TI (Philippines), Inc. (P122.16 billion); Philippine Airlines, Inc. (P117.62 billion) and PMFTC, Inc. (P113.67 billion).