Metro Pacific Investments Corp., an infrastructure conglomerate chaired by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, reported a core net income of P14.2 billion last year, up 15 percent from a year earlier.

Reported net income rose four percent to P10.5 billion despite lower nonrecurring income.

In a briefing yesterday, MPIC chief finance, risk and sustainability officer Chaye Cabal said the company would likely hit the same growth this year as it continues to diversify, expand into the agribusiness industry and realign its logistics investments.

MPIC is allocating P8 billion this year for more acquisitions and projects in agriculture, Cabal said, adding that this will depend on the partnership with the LR Group of Israel.

This would be done through MPIC's subsidiary Metro Pacific Agro Ventures Inc. (MPAV). Last year, MPIC ventured into the dairy industry by partnering with the Carmen's Best Group and acquiring a 51 percent stake in The Laguna Creamery Inc.

Cabal said that eventually, the company wants to make its agribusiness its top fourth business next to power, tollroads and water.

In diversifying into the agriculture sector, MPIC aims to help the country address the problem of food security.

MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company also hopes to help in poverty reduction.

'It has been a transformative year for MPIC. With the same commitment that we have poured into the country's underinvested utilities sector, we have now bravely pushed ahead with our plans to invest in Philippine agriculture, a critical area of focus with profound ties to poverty reduction and food security. We have always believed that improving the quality of essential services and helping to address the basic needs of our stakeholders is a necessary step in creating sustainable long-term value,' Pangilinan said.


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