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Emperador allots P1.5 billion capex for global expansion

EMPERADOR, Inc. has allocated P1.5 billion for its capital expenditures (capex) this year, a 50% jump from last year’s P1-billion budget to “accelerate” its global expansion plans.

“We have decided this year to invest ahead so that our growth plan can be sustained,” Emperador President and Chief Executive Officer Winston S. Co said during the company’s virtual stockholders meeting on Monday.

The company is “maximizing the potential and opportunity for each market depending on the consumer and preferences.”

“As a global company, we constantly adapt to changing consumer behavior especially in a challenging and difficult environment,” Mr. Co said.

He explained that consumer behavior varies according to their region or country “depending on how liquor is positioned or perceived as either an essential or non-essential product.”

Its brandy and whisky products are available in over 100 countries across six continents.

Last year, the company saw an 18% growth in earnings to owners to P8 billion on the back of its international business despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“In the Americas, particularly the US, and in Europe, particularly the UK, where liquor is an essential product, sales are doing very well,” Mr. Co said.

“In contrast, there have been liquor restrictions in certain areas in the Philippines over an extended period of time,” Mr. Co said.

For the first quarter this year, the company’s net income to owners improved by 43% year on year to P2.1 billion from P1.46 billion, while its topline went up by 13% to P12.1 billion from P10.66 billion after seeing a “continued robust performance” from its global business.

The listed whisky and brandy manufacturer is expecting the easing of pandemic restrictions this year due to vaccinations, which Mr. Co expects to lead to increased air travel and “some form of normalcy.”

On Monday, Emperador shares at the stock market improved by 1.60% or 15 centavos, closing at P9.50 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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