Dennis Uy sees 'challenging' 2020 for his empire due to pandemic

Dennis Uy sees 'challenging' 2020 for his empire due to pandemic

MANILA, Philippines — Udenna Corp., the expanding holding firm of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, on Monday reported lower earnings in 2019, with the company seeing a "challenging" 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Udenna said its net income last year stood at P3.39 billion, down from P4.9 billion recorded in 2018.

This, despite revenues in 2019 hitting P110.67 billion, up 17% from a year ago and the highest in the company’s history.

"Due to the pandemic, Udenna sees 2020 as a challenging year across all its businesses but it has rapidly adjusted to the situation by implementing measures to ensure that its people remain safe, keep operations on a business as usual mode, and preserve its resources," the company said.

Udenna has expanded to include not only oil and logistics ventures, but also telecoms and media since President Rodrigo Duterte, who received campaign donations from Uy, took office in mid-2016.

The massive growth of Uy’s business empire has fueled concerns over how he raises money to fund his acquisitions, but company officials have repeatedly assured the public that their business is strong enough to meet its financial obligations.

According to Udenna, its debt-to-equity ratio, a measure of a company’s capacity to service its debts, improved to 2.71 in 2019 from 3.09 in the preceding year.

"We are quite happy with the results but the work for creating shareholder value never ends; we continue to lay down the groundwork for Udenna’s future growth and profitability," Uy said.

“The ongoing COVID-19 situation remains serious and we have been adjusting to it. But just the same we are already looking beyond COVID-19 as we explore new ways of running our businesses, engaging our customers as well as looking at new opportunities and forging strategic partnerships and investments," he added.