A. Brown goes on P17-B expansion binge

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A. BROWN Co. Inc. has unveiled a P17-billion expansion plan across its core businesses in a bid to grow the company over the next five years

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The company whose shares are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange is into power, property, mining and agribusiness.

In a statement released over the weekend, Executive Chairman Walter W. Brown said P14.5 billion will be spent to develop coal, bunker, hydro and bulk water project, as well as in precious metals and oil and gas exploration.

He said that the company is allotting P1.3 billion for real estate development and close to P1 billion for agribusiness that include palm oil plantation, milling and refinery.

Brown said the expansion plan will be funded through “a combination of self-generated equity, joint ventures and partnerships, and project financing.”

Most of the company’s power plants will come on stream starting in fourth quarter of 2015 and in 2016. Its oil plantation and refinery in Northern Mindanao is expected to make a significant contribution to the firm’s bottom line.

The first unit of the two 135-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant of Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) in Concepcion, Iloilo will be fully operational by early 2016.

“The project is two months ahead of its delivery schedule,” PCPC president Roel Z. Castro said in the same statement, noting that the construction of the second unit is ongoing.

In its property business, A. Brown intends to expand from its high-end master planned communities in Northern Mindanao to the middle income and socialized housing as the opportunity lies in the 3 million housing backlog in the area.

Brown said the company is studying the possibility of venturing overseas after receiving an invitation to develop projects in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in the Pacific.

A. Brown has also created new arm, the AB Bulk Water Company Inc. It will submit an unsolicited proposal to the municipality of Opol in Misamis Oriental for a reliable and sustainable water supply system.

In the first quarter of the year, the company booked P5.25 million in net income from a P9.58- million net loss a year earlier. Revenues reached P151.955 million from P151.969 million.

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