Tony Tiu's AgriNurture swings to loss

Antonio Tiu
ABS-CBN | 17 November 2014

Tony Tiu's AgriNurture swings to loss

MANILA, Philippines - Businessman Tony Tiu's listed company AgriNurture swung to a P24.1 million loss in the first nine months of 2014, from a P16.5 million profit a year ago.

AgriNurture's losses ballooned to P12.3 million in the third quarter, 14 percent higher than the P10.76 million loss in the same quarter in 2013. Sales dropped 8 percent to P871 million in the July to September period.

AgriNurture is a supplier and exporter of fruits and vegetables, and also runs retail operations, including juice company The Big Chill.

AgriNurture said consolidated revenues inched up 2 percent to P2.79 billion in the nine-month period, from P2.67 billion during the same period in 2013.

Export sales increased by 38 percent to P418.3 million in the nine-month period, driven by the strong performance of banana exports.

However, local distribution sales fell 25 percent to P208.7 million in the January to September period, due to the closure of wet market operations and some outlets.

Farming revenues also plunged 64 percent to P81.8 billion in the 9-month period, as AgriNurture closed its rice farming operations.

AgriNurture also said retail and franchising sales fell 20 percent to P84.2 million in the January to September period, amid the closure of outlets that have been incurring losses.

Revenues from foreign operations went up 7 percent to P1.91 billion, mainly due to the 116 percent increase in sales from its operations in Australia.

Meanwhile, AgriNurture said consolidated operating expenses for the first 9 months of 2014 surged to P746.8 million, from P419.4 million a year-ago, due to the growth in foreign operations. It noted that salaries, wages and other employee benefits are much higher in Australia, compared to the Philippines.

Tiu has been accused of being Vice President Jejomar Binay's dummy for a hacienda in Rosario, Batangas. Tiu denied the allegations.

However, his listed companies AgriNurture and Greenergy Holdings, which owns Sunchamp Real Estate Development, have suffered a beating at the stock market.


Manila Standard | 3 November 2014

Farmers cite study: Tiu’s case proof of CARP failure

By Christine F. Herrera

Militant farmers on Sunday confirmed businessman Antonio claim before the Senate panel that he has other farms with bigger yields and in fact has foreign investors as his partners, making him one of the biggest landlords in the country.

But the KMP said for Tiu to be able to acquire ownership of vast tracks of land only showed the Aquino administration’s dismal failure in implementing agrarian reform and breaking the monopoly of big landlords over productive agricultural lands.

KMP chairman Rafael Mariano cited a study made by GRAIN showing that Tiu has entered into a joint venture with China and Saudi governments.

“In March 2012, China’s ambassador to the Philippines was in Central Luzon cutting a ribbon at a new hybrid rice demonstration farm. This was not a simple case of international cooperation,” Mariano lamented.

“The farm is owned by Beidahuang, one of China’s largest agribusiness companies and perhaps its most aggressive seeker of global farmland, and its local partner is AgriNurture,” the GRAIN study said.

AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) is owned by Tiu, Mariano said.

For now, Mariano said, the companies’ farms in the Philippines, covering 2,000 hectares, will produce Chinese hybrid rice seeds and supply them to Filipino farmers under contract production arrangements.

“But eventually the two companies plan to produce the hybrid rice on their own farms. They say that they could have 10,000 hectares under hybrid rice production by the end of 2012,” said Mariano, citing the GRAIN study.

According to Mariano, GRAIN is a small international non-profit organization that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.

Mariano said this was just one of the joint ventures that AgriNurture has set up over the past few years with foreign companies for the production of food crops in the Philippines.

The company also has a multi-million-dollar banana plantation venture in the works in Mindanao with the People’s Government of Tianyang, Guangxi, China, and another joint venture with the Far Eastern Agricultural Investment Company, a consortium of Saudi companies.

These consortiums plan to acquire 50,000 hectares in Mindanao for the production of fruits and cereals, Mariano said, quoting the GRAIN study.

 “Since he established the company (ANI) in 2008, Tiu has quickly built it into one of the country’s leading food exporters, with a focus on fresh fruit,” GRAIN said.

 Exports account for about half of the company’s revenues, and about half of those exports go to China, it said.
Original source: ABS-CBN

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