Eagle counts on gov’t infra push

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    Eagle Cement Corp. said profit for the first half of the year reached P1.3 billion, down 61 percent from last year’s P3.33 billion.

    Sales amounted to P5.9 billion, down 44 percent from P10.54 billion.

    “These are very difficult times but we remain confident the economy will recover from this pandemic and (will) emerge stronger. The government’s steady push for the completion of major infrastructure projects and the private sector’s readiness to bounce back offer encouraging signs for our company’s prospects moving forward,” said Paul Ang, Eagle president.

    Eagle attributed the drop in operating results to the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

    Eagle reported a second-quarter net profit of P128 million, down 92 percent from P1.7 billion last year, as net sales dropped 73 percent to P1.4 billion.

    Ang said the pandemic has created a highly competitive cement market that squeezed profits.

    “More aggressive strategies in pricing and marketing will be undertaken in the remaining half of the year,” he said.

    Ang expressed optimism the strong performance of Eagle in early 2020 will resume once the government eases further the quarantine restrictions especially in Luzon.

    Ang said Eagle’s strong financial position will enable it to withstand any external adversities amid the crisis.

    Eagle closed the period with assets of P45.8 billion, over liabilities of 10.2 billion. Company assets dropped 7 percent, while liabilities dropped 13 percent.

    “Eagle sustained its current gearing at low levels, with debt-to-equity and financial debt-to-equity ratios registering at 0.29x and 0.19x, respectively. Meanwhile, current ratio stood at 4.69x,” Ang said.

    “Our balance sheet remains strong and well-capitalized and the company is well-positioned to take advantage of a rebound in the construction industry. We continue to expand our production capacity despite the pandemic, underscoring our confidence on the economy’s ability to recover once quarantine restrictions are further eased,” he added.