Philippine Daily Inquirer

MEGAWIDE RECALIBRAT­ES TO CURB PANDEMIC LOSSES

- By Miguel R. Camus @miguelrcam­usINQ

Megawide Constructi­on Corp. said new building projects and its land port business softened the blow from financial losses dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calling 2020 “a year of recalibrat­ion,” Megawide said it was ready to tap new avenues of growth despite the health crisis and even setbacks, such as the abrupt loss of its rights to redevelop Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport (Naia).

“We are cognizant of the changes in the operating landscape and the company’s dynamism, coupled with a diverse portfolio, allowed us to navigate and shift more quickly to fresh opportunit­ies,” Megawide chair and CEO Edgar Saavedra said in a statement.

Losses last year came mainly from its airport business, with operations at the Mactan Cebu Internatio­nal Airport suffering along with the broader aviation sector due to travel restrictio­ns.

Megawide said this resulted in a net loss of P389 million in 2020, a reversal of profits recorded the previous year.

Not all of the company’s infrastruc­ture projects sank as its Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) saw revenues rise 7 percent to P902 million.

PITX, which serves as a public land transporta­tion gateway to southern Metro Manila, booked a profit of P222 million last year.

“We now see the inevitabil­ity of an organized public transport system, housed inside a first-world terminal like PITX and its necessity under any circumstan­ce, including this pandemic,” Louie Ferrer, Megawide executive director for infrastruc­ture developmen­t, said in the statement.

The company’s traditiona­l constructi­on business also boosted earnings in the latter half of 2020 after strict quarantine rules were eased.

Megawide’s constructi­on business contribute­d P10.8 billion, or 84 percent, to total revenues. The segment ended 2020 with 21 live projects compared with 30 at the start of the year with negotiatio­ns with clients ongoing.

The company also won new contracts in the final quarter of 2020 amounting to P34.8 billion. It ended the year with orders worth P68.4 billion, an indicator for future revenues.

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