EEI incurs P2-billion net loss as pandemic disrupts business

CONSTRUCTION firm EEI Corp. incurred P2.05 billion in attributable net loss in 2020, swinging from its P1.16-billion income a year earlier, after recording lower revenues from contracts during the pandemic.

In its annual report disclosed to the local bourse on Monday, EEI also placed its after-tax losses at P2.07 billion. Revenues from contracts with customers fell by around 41% to P13.88 billion last year.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) in 2020 disrupted the business of the Group in 2020,” the company said, adding that the disruption included the temporary stoppage of construction activities during the enhanced community quarantine.

It said it had incurred additional construction cost during the strict locdown imposed by the government.

By end-2020, EEI had a backlog of existing contracts amounting to P60.4 billion, which includes projects from the Saudi Arabia-based Al-Rushaid Construction Co. Ltd. totaling P17.38 billion. The company described the backlogs as “healthy and sustainable.”

“Despite the delays in operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the backlog was preserved and will be realized as construction works resume,” the company said, adding that it remains bullish for its short- to medium-term prospects.

The firm said that it expects local operations to perform strongly this year. “EEI expects an overall strong performance in its domestic operations driven by the current buildings, infrastructure, electromechanical, and industrial projects in its pipeline as production continues to pick-up,” it said.

The company said that it stood to benefit as the government rolls out more infrastructure projects under its “Build Build Build” program. It added that it had begun to digitize its processes and increase its operational efficiencies.

EEI said it “continues to explore businesses outside of construction, and has taken steps to participate in areas such as digital logistics, which has been thriving even before the pandemic hit.”

These diversifications, according to the firm, “are expected to bring new growth potential and help future-proof the company.”

Shares of EEI in the local bourse inched down by 0.54% or four centavos to close at P7.40 apiece on Monday. — Angelica Y. Yang

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