1. DITO

Dito Tel extends its operations in 18 additional areas

DITO Telecommunity Corp. (Dito Tel) began offering mobile services in 18 additional locations on July 15, bringing Dito’s overall footprint to 158 cities and municipalities countrywide.

Dito Tel has expanded its coverage to include Llanera and Santo Domingo in Nueva Ecija; Mangatarem, Basista, Binmaley, and San Manuel in Pangasinan; Ramos in Tarlac; Talisay, Mataas na Kahoy, Bauan, San Pascual, and Alitagtag in Batangas; Alfonso in Cavite; Kabankalan and Valladolid in Negros Occident

Dito Tel is a telecommunications operator with a 25-year legislative franchise that was passed into law in May 2018. Following the completion of a share exchange, listed firm DITO CME Holdings Inc. (DITO) will become the indirect parent company of Dito Tel. To recap, DITO is purchasing a 100 percent stake in Udenna Communications Media and Entertainment Holdings Corp. (UCME) via a share-for-share exchange with Udenna Corp. Through Dito Holdings Corporation, UCME has an indirect stake in Dito Tel (DHC). The deal has yet to be approved by the SEC.

2. DAVIN, COSCO

The Keepers Holdings FOO targeted by September

Following the filing of a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its follow-on offering (FOO) of 3.0 billion shares priced at Php2.00-Php2.50 per share, which could raise Php6.0 billion to Php7.5 billion, The Keepers Holdings, Inc. (KEEPR), formerly Da Vinci Capital Holdings, Inc. (DAVIN), has raised Php6.0 billion to Php7.5 billion. The company intends to use the proceeds to further expand its liquor, wine, and specialty beverage distribution operations. The offering is expected to be available in September.

An earlier share-swap deal, in which KEEPR purchased the liquor operations of Cosco Capital, Inc. (COSCO), which is also controlled by businessman Lucio Co, was completed in return for 11.3 billion additional shares of KEEPR. Because Co owns both KEEPR and COSCO, KEEPR’s public ownership dropped to 2 percent, which was below the PSE’s minimal threshold, resulting in the suspension of trade in KEEPR’s shares.

The 3.0 billion shares under consideration for the FOO will increase KEEPR’s public ownership to 20.94 percent, bringing the total public ownership to 20.94 percent. KEEPR is the country’s largest distributor of imported spirits, holding a 74 percent share of the country’s total market. Net sales for FY2020 fell by 24 percent to Php8.17 billion as a result of the pandemic, but net income dropped only by 3 percent to Php1.18 billion as a result of cost-cutting measures.

3. HLCM

HLCM to spend Php210.0mn on cost reduction projects

Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HLCM) has hired Sinoma CBMIPH Construction Corp., a subsidiary of China-based engineering company Sinoma CBMI, to build two drying facilities for a total of Php210.0 million at its cement plants in Bacnotan, La Union, and Lugait, Misamis Oriental. These drying facilities would decrease fuel usage by recycling hot gases from current processes to dry materials, as well as enhance grinding operations by lowering raw material moisture content. The drying facilities in La Union and Misamis Oriental are scheduled to be completed in 1Q2022 and October 2021, respectively.

HLCM also invested Php121.5 million in January to improve its Norzagaray, Bulacan plant’s capacity to transform waste materials into alternative fuels, which it can then utilize in lieu of coal.

4. SEVN

SEVN announces growth plans for 2021

Philippine Seven Corporation (SEVN) has budgeted Php1.0 billion for capital expenditures in 2021, with the goal of opening at least 200 new stores this year, bringing its total store network to 3,250 by the end of 2021. SEVN has established 75 shops so far this year.

SEVN plans to open additional shops outside of Metro Manila, moving its emphasis away from major business districts, which had the poorest performance during the epidemic, and towards residential areas in the CALABARZON region. SEVN will also offer smaller-sized 120sqm modular shops that can be built in 30 days. Only 20 have been completed to yet.

5. DELM

In April, DMPI’s pineapple export earnings increased by 37% year on year

Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI), a subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited (DELM), reported a 37 percent year-on-year increase in fresh pineapple export sales to Php5.9 billion in April, owing to a higher market share in China.

According to the analytics and consulting company GlobalData, DMPI will have a 53 percent market share of fresh pineapple exports to China in 2020, followed by Japan and South Korea, which will have 33 percent and 21 percent, respectively. From 2015 to 2020, China’s fresh pineapple imports increased at an 18% CAGR. To stay competitive, DMPI wants to double its retail distribution network in China, which presently stands at 15,000 locations, and expand its MD2 manufacturing capacity. MD2 pineapples account for 28% of DMPI’s 26,000 acre plantation.

DMPI is a major exporter of the MD2 pineapple cultivar in Asia. DMPI sells the MD2 type under the S&W brand in China, Japan, and South Korea, which is allegedly a popular brand among Chinese customers owing to its premium quality and extended shelf life.

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