"He is probably the most gracious and gentle of the third-generation Lopezes in the business."
Federico “Piki” Rufino Lopez, 59, is this year’s Man of the Year awardee of the Management Association of the Philippines. He is the chairman and CEO of First Philippine Holdings Corp.
MAP, which has over 900 CEOs in its roster, chose Piki for the following:
• For passionately pushing for the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy through his various advocacies to proactively address the irreparable damage of climate change;
• Championing the power industry’s deregulation for the benefit of the country;
• Steering the Lopez Group to being in the forefront of energy security and sustainability, and clean technologies for renewable energy and natural gas;
• Developing a deep bench of Filipino technical and managerial talent who are globally competitive;
• His leadership role in the substantial contributions of the Lopez Group to national development in terms of production, value added, income generation and job creation;
• His contribution to long-term positive development of society through his undertakings on technical-vocational education, youth development, community-based livelihood programs, scholarship opportunities for musicians, and research projects on environmental protection;
• Setting an example for Filipino managers through a track record of integrity, entrepreneurial excellence, professional competence and great leadership in his management career.
Piki is the president and CEO, since 2010, of First Philippine Holdings Corp., the 55 percent-family owned renewable energy generation company. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double major in Economics and International Relations (Cum Laude) (1983).
Piki is the genial, ever-smiling son of Oscar M. Lopez, 91, the Harvard-educated chair emeritus of First Philippine Holdings. Piki is probably the most gracious and gentle of the third-generation Lopezes in the business, reckoning the first generation from the late Eugenio Lopez Sr. (who died in 1975 made miserable by Marcos’s martial law) and his two sons, the late Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr. (who died in 1999, 13 years after Cory Aquino restored the family’s vast businesses) and Oscar M. Lopez, who is still nimble, sprightly, and aspiring to climb more mountains. The Lopez family dynasty, however, spans seven generations.
It was Oscar who unloaded the family’s controlling 34-percent stake (to PLDT Group) in electricity distribution giant Meralco to focus on renewable energy in 2009 and pare down huge debts.
With the denial of franchise to once-hugely profitable ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., First Holdings became Lopez’s family main business and bread and butter.
First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC)’s first half 2020 revenues declined a hefty P14 billion or 21 percent, from P67.9 billion to P53.9 billion. Net income dropped P3.5 billion or 26 percent (from P13.3 billion to P9.8 billion. Recurring profits were down 21 percent to P10.2 billion.
Return on average equity was 8.65 percent down from 11.90 percent in 2019 because annualized earnings were down by P3 billion or 23 percent (from P13.2 billion to P10.2 billion), coupled with a higher average stockholders’ equity attributable to Parent by P6.8 billion or 6 percent (from P111.2 billion to P118 billion).
Revenues were lower because:
— Sale of electricity went down by P10.4 billion or 18 percent (from P58.1 billion to P47.7 billion) due to lower revenues from First Gen’s natural gas power plants, FG Hydro, and EDC. The San Gabriel gas plant posted lower electricity sales mainly due to the decrease in capacity charges resulting from a scheduled maintenance outage in January 2020 and the Bayanihan Offer given to Meralco during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.
— Reduced revenue from Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo due to lower generation coupled with lower average gas prices during the period. Electricity sales of FG Hydro and Avion declined because of lower generation and spot market prices. The lower prices and steam shortfall from Leyte plants affected EDC plants.
— Decreased real estate sale of P2.4 billion or 52 percent (from P4.6 billion to P2.2 billion) mainly due lower sales of units and delayed construction completion of Rockwell Land of all of its residential development projects as lockdowns suspended construction.
— Decreased revenues from contracts and services of P933 million or 23 percent (from P4.1 billion to P3.2 billion) because of lower contributions of First Balfour and Thermaprime resulting from delays and slowdown on construction projects and drilling services, respectively, during ECQ.
Also, recurring lease earnings from Rockwell’s commercial spaces were down because of rent concessions to retail tenants to cope with quarantine.
— Decreased revenues from sale of merchandise of P283 million or 26 percent (from P1.1 billion to P805 million) mainly due to First Philec’s lower volume of electrical transformer sales following the plant shutdown brought about by the restrictions during the community quarantine period.
Profits declined by P3.5 billion or 26 percent (from P13.3 billion to P9.8 billion) primarily due to lower operating profits reflecting the financial impact of lockdowns that began March 16, 2020. Adding to the profit drop was the reversal of non-recurring gains in 2019 (mainly from insurance proceeds and foreign exchange gains) to one-off losses in 2020 that largely pertain to COVID-19 related donations and expenses.
On a recurring net income (RNI) basis, the Group reported earnings of P10.2 billion, also lower by P2.7 billion or 21 percent compared to last year’s P12.9 billion.
Net income attributable to equity holders of the Parent declined by P1.7 billion or 26 percent (from P6.7 billion to P5 billion) mainly reflecting the decline in operating income coupled with non-recurring losses recognized mainly due to one-off COVID-19 expenses incurred this period. This was in contrast with the one-off gains reported in 2019 on account of insurance claim proceeds received by EDC and favorable foreign exchange movements.
Group assets were slightly up by 2 percent or P7.8 billion, (from P372.3 billion to P380.1 billion).
Total liabilities and equity of the Group were slightly higher by 2 percent or P7.8 billion (from P372.3 billion to P380.2 billion).
Annualized return on average equity decreased from 11.90 percent in 2019 to 8.65 percent this year following the decline in annualized earnings by P3 billion or 23 percent (from P13.2 billion to P10.2 billion), coupled with a higher average stockholders’ equity attributable to Parent by P6.8 billion or 6 percent (from P111.2 billion to P118 billion).