DEAR FELLOW SHAREHOLDERS
We had long looked forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2021 with a review of our accomplishments over the years and optimism as we enter our fifth decade. But then, well, you know what happened. We did not expect, instead of honouring our history, to be struggling against a once-a-century COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic consequences for all of us everywhere.
Yes, we are stronger and wiser for our experience of this difficult year yet we are fewer than we were with every business touched by loss and every family met by hardship. We have endured and now we begin to see the hazy outline of a post-COVID world.
In this world, we see our core holdings of Indofood, PLDT and MPIC continue to grow. We expect rising dividend income from these core businesses. We have reduced our borrowings and the cost of what remains. We have every expectation that our sound liquidity and strengthening finances will enable First Pacific to further improve our balance sheet.
I join our Managing Director in confidence for the future of First Pacific as we look to the medium and long term. Indofood and PLDT operate in very different businesses and have arrived from different directions at the winning combination of cost and quality to win consumer loyalty. MPIC’s provision of basic services like electricity, water and roads continues to improve the lives of ever-growing numbers of Filipinos even as it expands its portfolio. It’s been a difficult year, but right here and right now, First Pacific is where it wants to be.
30 March 2021