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Meralco’s third-quarter income up 59% to P10.6B

MANILA ELECTRIC CO. (Meralco) registered a third-quarter reported net income of P10.55 billion, a 58.9% increase from the P6.64 billion a year ago, the listed power distributor said on Monday.

The company’s consolidated core net income for the July-to-September period rose by 66% to P10.82 billion from the P6.52 billion posted in the previous year.

For the nine months to September, Meralco’s reported net income reached P28.4 billion, up by 44% from P19.76 billion in the same period last year.

Consolidated core net income likewise rose by 53% to P30 billion from P19.61 billion a year ago.

Betty C. Siy-Yap, Meralco’s senior vice-president and chief finance officer, said in a briefing that the “power generation continues to provide significant contribution.”

The positive results largely came from the P13.4-billion income contribution of PacificLight Power Pte. Ltd Singapore and the P2.9-billion income shared by San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co.’s coal plant.

Moreover, the P1.3-billion income contribution of Global Business Power Corp. thermal plants and the P72-million profit from MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. — the renewable energy arm of Meralco PowerGen Corp. — also contributed to the increase.

On the consolidated revenues for the January-to-September period, Ms. Yap said that the figure reached P335.2 billion, 6% higher than the P314.9 billion last year “due to higher volumes distributed and higher pass-through charges.”

Ronnie L. Aperocho, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Meralco, said in a briefing that energy sales went up by 4% to 38,164 gigawatt-hours (GWh) as of September from 36,553 GWh in the same nine-month period last year.

“We observed the sustained upward trajectory in the volume of energy sold throughout the nine-period across all customer segments,” Mr. Aperocho said.

“While we expect this to continue for the rest of the year, we also remain mindful of the upward trend in power rates with the anticipated increase in Malampaya gas prices and the continuing supply reduction of this gas field,” he added.

Meanwhile, Meralco said that the total costs and expenses during the period rose by 3% to P307.52 billion versus P297.30 billion previously.

Purchased power cost went up by 5% to P248.8 billion from P237.8 billion, which Meralco attributed to the depreciation of peso and higher costs of replacement power for the capacities terminated by the operators of Ilijan and Sual power plants.

“Given the robust performance of practically all of our businesses, it is likely that Meralco will deliver another year of record earnings consistent with its long arc of earnings growth these past 14 years,” said Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“Beyond our traditional role of providing power and services to our customers at affordable rates, Meralco takes to heart our overarching mission of improving people’s welfare, in coordination with, and with the support of government,” he added.

At the local bourse on Monday, shares in the company lost P3 or 0.85% to end at P352 apiece.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

Neil Banzuelo

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